Kim Pajarillo

Mission College student Kim Pajarillo took an extended journey to get to where she is today.

"I pretty much got into community college, not knowing how to college," said Pajarillo, who earned a CTE degree in athletic strength training. "I got very lost after the first two community colleges and ended up here at Mission College."

Pajarillo is part of the "New Majority," students who are first in their family to go to college, may be working to support a family and often times are lower income.

According to the Gates Foundation, 63 percent of California's college students attended a two-year college. "For too many students, the path to a credential is longer than it should be," said the Foundation on its website.

"Once I got to community college, I realized I had done things incorrectly, like not going to a counselor and getting an education plan done," said Pajarillo. "I needed to take more accountability for myself."

Kim surrounded herself with like-minded individuals. She joined a kinesiology club. She was able to also find that balance between her family obligations and her educational goals.

"School was very important to me, because with my parents coming from the Philippines, they didn't have these opportunities." Her experience has changed her parents' perspective of college.

After graduating from Mission College, Pajarillo transferred to Cal State East Bay where she started a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in social justice.

"I have a passion for learning and an even deeper passion for teaching" said Pajarillo