photo of Rhonda Roberson and Ashley MartinRhonda Roberson tried attending college in fall 1994 but couldn’t make it work. Fifteen years, three children, and many jobs later, Rhonda was laid off from her secretary position and didn’t know where to turn.

Rhonda decided to reignite her educational future.

After earning her GED at Adult School, Rhonda, then 37, enrolled at SBVC in January 2009. 

Even on that first day, Rhonda knew SBVC was the place for her. 

"I liked being on the campus and felt comfortable even after being away from school,” said Rhonda. “It excited me to see all these kids motivated to go to school.”

The evening after her first day back in college, Rhonda began a campaign to convince her 20-year old daughter, Ashley Martin, to consider college. 

“My mom would tell me how smart I was, and ask me why I wasn’t planning on going to college,” Ashley said. “I just wanted to make it through high school, but my mom kept bugging me about it.” 

As if she needed more incentive, Ashley’s Native American roots meant that her tribe, the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, would pay for all her school expenses. As her mother predicted, Ashley started strong at SBVC in fall 2009 and enrolled in 13 units for spring 2010. 

Rhonda's career goal of becoming a social worker or clinical therapist is well underway as evidenced by the positive impact she’s had on her immediate family.

“I’d like to share my story and go back to talk to students at the Adult School since I enjoy talking with people and helping people by listening,” Rhonda said.