My name is Ashley and I am a sophomore student at Trinity Washington University. I started as a forensic science major, but then developed into a psychology student. Last summer, I got the opportunity to work at Children’s National as a volunteer under a NASA space grant scholarship. As fun and informative as that experience was, it helped me realize what I actually want to study in college. School as a college student is definitely not easy, however, the experience is rewarding, and I feel blessed to even be enrolled.

Not much has changed with my family since high school. I am still a role model, I still have an immense amount of responsibilities, and I am still working a part time job. However, I can say that my jobs have changed. While I was attending high school, I worked at two different fast food restaurants. Then, towards the end of my high school career, I got a job as a custodian in a huge building full of offices. I hated the job, but as always I was glad to have gotten the experience. In my fall freshman semester of college, I was fortunate enough to find a job at a school as an aftercare teacher. I love the job and I am currently still working there.

My parents never got to reach high school in their home country. Their inexperience has motivated me to seek higher education success, and continue setting a good example for my siblings. A challenge for me has been completing college applications, financial aid, and testing that I had to figure out on my own. Being independent in many ways has taught me to be patient and persevere through any obstacles. I am very blessed that my family supports me in any way they can and I hope to one day make them proud with my accomplishments.


Hello my name is Jefferson and this my story. I am currently enrolled in a computer trade school called General Assembly. I had recently finished my first school term and I think it was amazing. I am currently studying computer science and I am aiming towards three branches of computer science which are Web Designer, Web Developer and Cyber Security. We started off the term by learning and working with the basics of coding. I was blown away by how much I got to learn in just my first term and how one major program called Python which is used in mostly everyday technology. Going back in time towards when I was studying in Montgomery College I see how much of a difference they are compared to where I’m studying right now.

My transition from high school to Montgomery College was somewhat of a difficulty because of all the freedom I had going to college. Time management was one of the most important skills I had to learn and adapt to in my personal life and school. At first I found it very burdensome trying to learn and study but to also be working. It lead to the point where I had to quit my job in order to focus on my education. But after my sophomore year I finally was able to master this skill and create a great, weekly schedule which would help me for the rest of my school career. I was even able to find an amazing job and an awesome boss that was willing to adapt to my schedule so I can continue working hard in both my school and job.

A lot of my life has also been altered during college. Since the beginning of 2020 I am no longer a DC resident but now a Maryland resident. It still feels weird because most of my youth I spent living in DC now suddenly I live in MD its just weird getting used to,  even after a couple months living here. I also want to talk about how my responsibilities have increase, drastically but in a good way. I have become more independent and not rely on my family for every source of money.  To the contrary, I get to help them ease up by now taking care of my own expenses. I also learned on how to manage my money in ways where I have self control and not mindlessly waste money on things that I want but on things that I need. I wouldn’t be as responsible if it wasn’t for Carl. I really can’t imagine what my life would be without the Little Blue House (LBH), The staff that helped me through my time at the LBH and most importantly, Carl Foster. I don’t see Carl Foster just as a mentor or a figure I look up to but an actual member of my family. You are truly a friend and a part of my family. Thank you Carl.


My name is Carmen and I am currently finishing up my junior year at Trinity Washington University. The past three years of my college experience has been a rollercoaster ride. My perspective has been challenged, expanded and it changes from time to time  however I’m very excited to continue with my degree and open up to learning experiences.

Although I have flourished in my role as a student, I still have the role of caregiver in my household. It is very stressful at times and it makes me feel trapped at times. This quarantine has made it bad. I miss my friends. I miss being on campus. I miss having a routine where things felt stable.

Regardless of the negative aspects of my life, I am very hopeful for the future. I have a supportive group of friends who remind me daily that I am a strong individual. It makes the rough days less stressful and my end goal more attainable.


Hi, I am currently 18 years of age attending my first semester at Montgomery college. Since high school was not as challenging, I am glad that college is not the same. What I learned from attending college is taking more responsibilities as an individual. My previous years in school consisted of me retaining information then being tested on the information. College does that in some way, but it requires more thinking. I like the level of development that my new school has given me. It has taught me to act more as an individual than to rely on others.

High school was really the turning point for the years to come. Going into my senior year in high school, I wanted more change to happen. I was not satisfied with the environment around me and acted for change to happen. Two major changes that happened was me transitioning from high school to college and my financial status. Within in high school I decided to not take the route of using my counselors to help me transition to college. I felt as college was a choice for me and not to be treated as another year in high school. With that being said, I started to make all the arrangements for my first year in college. It was challenging making the transition but, in the end, it worked out for me and trying my best in school.

During my time in high school I was living with my family in Washington. Senior year I decided to the initiative of getting a job. I knew that if I wanted change in environment, I would have to put more money on the table. My parents found a larger space for my family to move into. We chose Maryland because not only did it allow me to be eligible for financial aid, it also provided more living space. I began paying my share of the rent and was able to obtain my own room. I began start paying more around the house since I got a job. My share of helping money wise around the house, helped my family to save more for our older days. I am pleased with the change that I was able to bring to the table. I strive for more change in the years to come and help my family even more than I have currently.


College life was not as easy as I thought. Currently I am in my second year of Montgomery college. I didn’t do as good as I thought in my first year. I was taking general studies and I was still undecided on a major. I spoke with Carl and he told me “ you’re not ambitious enough”. He asked me what I want to do and how I can get there to achieve my goal. I went home that day with that on my mind. I thought and thought about it, then mechanics came to mind. I thought it was perfect because I loved to work on my own car at home and always enjoyed being around cars. Now I am currently taking an Automotive Technology course in Montgomery college. I am really enjoying this course because it’s also hands on. Personally I think that studying and having a hands on class is the best way to learn and enjoy going to school. 

The transition from high school to college life wasn’t easy. When I was in high school I would just do my work and knew that if I turned it in on time the next day I would get the grade. College is way different, In college I have to manage my time because I have to manage doing my homework and going to work. In the long run this is really helping me out because later on when I have the job that I want I would have to manage my workload. 

Now that I’ve moved to Maryland a lot has changed. I have more responsibilities than before. I don’t mind the responsibilities but it gets tough. Currently I have to deal with things like car insurance and my part for the mortgage. But having these responsibilities are just helping me out, because in the future I will know what it is like to pay for my own things without the help of anyone. Being independent! That’s what life is about in my opinion. I want to take this opportunity to tell everyone who has helped with school, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am now without you.


My name is Estefany.  I attend Montgomery College in Maryland with plans to attend Florida International University in the fall. I started at Montgomery with two free classes but eventually got credit for those colleges. The transition from high school to college was hard and my family life changed but I learned a lot from both.

What I’ve learned from College is that it requires a lot of work and time management. As a college student I have a lot of free time that is necessary to manage in order to get all my work done. In high school the teacher would constantly remind the students when certain assignments were due, but this is not the case in college. I learned that the hard way my first semester. Sometimes I forgot to turn in an assignment because I didn’t properly read my syllabus and my professor never mentioned it to the class. To keep track of all my assignments and my time I began using planners. I also began attending tutoring sessions for classes that I didn’t understand their content. After my first semester I learned how better manage my time, take advantage of campus resources and how to organize myself better.

In my junior year of high school my mom separated from my stepdad, which meant that I need to find a part-time job to help my mom with the bills. After graduating High School, I ended up getting a full-time job because the bills were getting bigger and my mom needed more financial support. I was working 8 hours, five days a week. At the beginning it was a bit challenging finding a balance between school and work. Since I was a full-time student during the day and I had a full-time job during the night, the only time I had to do my homework was in between classes. Going through this transition made me realized all the sacrifices my mom has made for me and my siblings. At the same time, it made my relationship with my family stronger.

A lesson that my mom taught after entering college was that no one is responsible for your life but you. I guess what my mom tried to teach me was to be more independent, she always believed that education is something that everybody should have. She always said that education is something that you have, and nobody can take it away from you. I had the privilege attend to college when none of my family members did. I am the first generation in my family to ever go to college and to ever graduate from high school.


My name is Breianna and I currently attend Montgomery College. I am in my second year in college. Being able to go to college really changed me for the better. I am able to choose my classes and choose what time I attend my classes. In high school all of my classes were provided for me by counselors.  I try to take classes that would benefit me in the future. For example, I am thinking about taking a photography class.  I really love taking pictures, but also I take pictures of animals at animal shelters so I can help those animals find homes.  I love being animals and taking amazing photos of them. Being in college helps me navigate through what I want to do in life and how I should pursue those goals. 

Since being in college, I’ve seen a huge change. My mom does get on me about doing my homework, but that’s normal. She still brags to her friends that her only daughter is in college and that I am doing very well in it. I think my mom likes me in college because she hopes that my little brother will follow right behind me. It’s true my little brother is thinking about going to college. He asked me about my classes and what it’s like being in college. He graduated from high school last year and I am so proud of him. I am willing to help him out with any college questions but if there’s a question I can not answer I can always ask someone at the Little Blue House. My older brother is a little different because we are not that close. He still asks me about my classes and what days I have classes on. I am grateful that he does because I really don’t talk to my family about college, we only talk briefly about it. 

I have only encountered professors who want to see their students succeed and move on to the next thing. Another thing that’s different is the homework is really intense and if you miss one homework assignment sometimes you will not be able to make it up and that will hurt you in the end.. College is definitely interesting and its mind blowing how far I’ve come. It doesn’t matter how long you are in school, the only thing that does matter is that you know your end game or goal in the end. Only you can take that next step into your future and I am just now starting to figure that out.

Eric (left)

Hi, my name is Eric.  I am a sophomore at Montgomery College. Since high school, there have been many changes that I am very proud of and eager to share. First, my relationship with my mother has shown a lot of growth. Before we would struggle in communicating and staying open-minded about each other’s ideas especially on the topic was our family’s well-being. Things like our home, bills, family habits, discipline techniques are all areas where we had difficulty. Now I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that the responsibility of an adult, a parent, not a 20-year-old college kid? Yes, you’re 100% correct.  But things were not working and I had to help.  My family was struggling and my mother didn’t want her authority questioned.  She was scared of change because the idea of it was so new for her.  but she changed.

I was also going through a transition. I am transitioning from just being a son to now a partner that she can trust with good judgment and decision-making skills.  I was finally able to move my family out to a more stable home. More compact than our last home but most definitely more stable.  With a new home we are like a new family.  We have new rules, changed old habits, but most of all moved on from past experiences as a family and into a new chapter in our life. Exactly what I wanted.

 Likewise, my relationship with my little brothers has also changed profoundly. First, they are not little boys anymore. They are young men who are very curious about the world. They ask questions that both excite me and make me anxious,  like the sex talk.  At first, they just saw me as another kid but they slowly figured out and understood that I am much more than their older brother.  They helped me to realize I have to play the role of father.  I am at work full time helping our mother pay the family’s bills. As a result, our conversations have become more in-depth.  We talk about the way they think and act and getting to know their identity.  We talk about what success means for them and how we’re gonna get there. 

With all the changes my altitude has also changed. I remember before I always felt overwhelmed. I was constantly complaining  about my issues, some were issues that I could not even control. I realized not everything is about me. Bit by bit the decisions I have been making for my family, has taught me a lot about myself and helped shape my own identity.  I am a fighter. I was born with disadvantages.  Instead of hating it, I embrace it and use it as fuel. But Carl says the most important thing is that I care about others.