Dedicated To Her Dreams- Carla's Story

Whenever Carla’s name is brought up around New Door, it’s usually followed by showers of praise. She’ll modestly shake her head and bashfully smile at these compliments, but as a driven and bright young woman, she doesn’t see her goals as lofty, even if others do. Carla believes in herself and her ability to achieve what she puts her mind to.

Carla has proven to all who have worked with her how dedicated and goal-oriented she is. Within three months of enrolling in New Door’s education program, she prepared for and passed the social studies, science, language arts and math portions of the GED, scoring high enough to earn college credit for two of the exams- an impressive feat in and of itself. But, in addition to attending class and studying, Carla was juggling a part-time internship, tutoring, participating in weekly job training workshops, and meeting with her case manager as a participant in New Door’s employment program.

Her unwavering dedication is impressive, yet she claims it hasn’t always been that way. Her road to earn her high school degree was a challenging one, which ultimately fueled her desire to quickly pass the GED.

At 12 years-old, Carla moved to San Francisco from India not knowing any English. She couch surfed with friends and family until she was placed in the foster care system and entered a group home at age 15. Because of her unstable housing, her attendance in high school was inconsistent. She attended two separate schools her freshman and sophomore year, and the following year was placed in a secondary school for one semester before transferring to Gateway to College, a high school housed within City College, where finished her last years of high school. Although she walked across the stage at graduation, she later discovered she did not have high enough credits to earn her diploma.

After the turbulence of high school, Carla took the summer off before looking for a job. It was then her case manager at Alternative Family Services told her about a place she could work while earning her high school degree – New Door Ventures.

Carla began at New Door in September 2017 and set her mind to completing the GED and the employment program all before the end of the year. The New Door staff was there to support her. The education program tailors classroom schedules, curriculum and the course timeline leading up to taking the exam around each youths’ needs and teachers are willing to meet outside of class for additional practice.

Karina and Carla on graduation day.

Karina and Carla on graduation day.