REACHING ABOVE THE CEILING
After attending LA High, Iris worked for a radio station where she did well. But, Iris wanted a promotion. To do so, she needed a degree. West helped her realize she could reach even higher than she ever imagined. She transferred to UCLA with a goal of attaining a Ph.D.
“Being Latina, being young, not having a college degree – I was not getting paid what I was worth. So at age 21, I quit my job to go back to school full time at West.” At West, Iris quickly impressed her professors who referred her to Workforce and EOPS. Through those programs, she had an inspirational experience and applied to UCLA. “I was not thinking about a UC – just a Cal State and go back to my old job at a radio station and do that. Then, through Dr. Friedman, we went to a NASA conference, and it was eye-opening seeing so many people of color with Ph.D.s. That sparked my interest in a Ph.D. program," said Iris.
The eldest of 3 children, she is the first member of her family to go to college. She now brings her nieces to campus in hopes that she will inspire the same love of learning that she developed at West.