Spotlight: Yenifer Valera-Sabino
Yenifer, 25, was one of only six community college students to be awarded the 2015-16 American Association for Women in Community Colleges National Scholarship. “It’s pretty amazing,” she says. She has two more semesters at BRCC and plans to transfer to JMU.
Why Human Services?
“I had a rough upbringing. My background relates very well with social work. I want to work with children. I’m a single mom of a very active three year old. He loves cars. I don’t know how, but he knows the names of all these cars!”
Yenifer was born in the Dominican Republic, coming to America at age 11. She lived in New Jersey until three years ago when she moved to Harrisonburg. “Living here is the best decision I ever made,” she says. “I wanted to raise my son in a safe place with good schools.”
In addition to raising Yaniel, Yenifer works three part-time jobs and is planning to take nine credits this summer. She’s also very excited to be training to volunteer with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). “It takes a lot of time to be able to manage it all. Sometimes, I wish I had more time to just focus on school.”
Advice to other students
“Don’t waste time. Don’t take breaks. Just keep going. It gets harder, but it’s all worth it.”