pic of chante goryChante Gory didn’t plan on math being a big part of her life at SBVC.

“I remember thinking that I only needed just enough math to be able to count to eight so that I could become a dance instructor,” said Chante, a Colton resident.

Since then, Chante has taken five math classes—including three with Dr. Stephanie Briggs, an SBVC math professor.

Chante also took science and English classes before graduating in spring 2010 – an accomplishment that would have been a preposterous goal just a few short years ago.

Back in the 90’s, Chante dropped out of high school during her junior year. She never witnessed how education could change lives.

“I used to feel dumb, drinking, doing drugs and I started to believe that I didn’t really care about myself. But, I learned that who you’re around is what makes you. I haven’t been around many successful minority women so hearing Professor Briggs’ courageous story was a great example for me,” Chante said. “Now I know that I can be a lawyer or a judge and that means a lot to me. Four years ago, nobody would have told this second-chance kid that I’d be here instead of hanging around the streets wasting my life.”

Chante’s advice for fellow students: never stop trying to figure out who they want to be and what they want in life.

“Sometimes, people look around and see the success of others as a finished, polished product. But, they don’t ever see the fire and the smoke from their struggles that helped them figure out who they were and what they wanted to do with their lives. I want people to know that you should never lose your hope or that little voice inside you that says, “One day, I’ll…”, Chante said. “Whatever you want to do in this life, you can make it happen. It might be a struggle or be delayed, but you’ll get it. Whatever you reach for, keep reaching. Words can’t explain the feeling of grasping something that you’ve been reaching for in your life.”