SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento mother of two is the second in her family to graduate from college – and she did so without ever stepping foot inside a classroom.
Yesenia Jones is a resident services manager at an assisted living community.
“It’s just so fulfilling to work day to day with these seniors,” Jones said.
Jones not only works full time, but juggles two young kids, a husband – and now can call herself a college grad.
“I’ll be finally walking the stage to receive my bachelor’s in sociology from CSU Chico,” Jones said.
As a first-generation Mexican-American student and second-language learner, Jones’ path to a degree has been a winding one.
Growing up, college was not a priority in her family. But despite her challenges, she didn’t let life get in the way of achieving her dream.
“Being a mother of a newborn and a toddler, there was no way I could physically go to school,” Jones said. “I started looking online to see what was available that I can afford that I can do virtually.”
Jones found a sociology program through California State University, Chico, and completed her coursework entirely online.
“The professors are very helpful, respond to emails very quickly, all the lectures were televised, so I can watch at my own time,” Jones said.
She says while the online component gave her flexibility, it also took a lot of discipline and self-motivation.
“That meant at times when I was off, my husband was taking care of the kids, and I’m in the room 10 to 12 hours a day, trying to get assignments done,” Jones said.
But now, after more than a decade in the making, her entire family can share a proud moment. And Jones wants other women who may have struggled like she did to know it is possible.
“Hope that other minority young women, ‘cause we only get one life, so let’s make the best out of it,” Jones said.
Jones’ ultimate goal is to be a licensed clinical social worker and maybe open up her own practice.