As a child, my mom graduated from nursing school here at Santa Fe while I went to the Little School. The Little School was actually the last place where I received a diploma and walked. [See pic in comments.] At the end of my 8th grade year, we found out my mom had breast cancer. She passed away around the end of high school.
There’s different levels of homelessness. I’ve experienced sleeping on the streets, not having a dollar to my name and just trying to hustle up money to get by, to having places to go, but not really having a house or a home. When I was turning 30, I realized that for half of my life I could be considered homeless.
I suffer from PTSD from going through homelessness and from my mother passing away at a young age. I just experienced a lot of rough times. Ultimately, Santa Fe College has helped me stabilize myself, to understand what growth is. Instead of looking at things as an obligation, I see the opportunity in those same struggles now.
Whether it was the work environments or the neighborhoods I was in, I’ve been around a lot of less positive and less forward-thinking people. SF took me out of that atmosphere. Being at Santa Fe, I’ve been inspired by people like Clarinda Choice, Melody Kauffmann, Omar Jennings. People like that help me understand that it’s not just me going through a struggle, and that I can get to that finish line. Just having that influence has changed my life for the better.
SF has helped get me back to being a productive part of society. It’s kind of like full circle. Growing up, my mom was going to school and working two jobs to provide for us. Not that she didn’t want to be there for us, she had to do it. I’m not going to do that to my kids. I’m going to give my kids that time. And I’m going to get into a career that will allow me to do that.
Jared Folds, A.S.Programing and Analysis