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Kayla Miller Stays Focused to Meet her Goals

March 23, 2010

Kayla with her Starting Blocks mentor Bob Menzimer

Commitment, motivation, and hard work are all required to reach any big, life-altering objective. Our current Student of the Quarter, Kayla Miller, has shown a great understanding of this through her life accomplishments. One of her ambitions has always been to attend a four-year college directly from high school. By identifying and eliminating distractions, focusing on her academics, and keeping her head up when times were stressful, she accomplished that goal. Kayla will be attending Sacramento State next fall where she is considering both Sociology and Psychology as possible majors!

Being a optimistic, loving, and goal oriented young woman, Kayla strives to be a positive influence to those around her. She acts as an encouraging role model to her foster sister, making sure that she does not get into trouble and stays focused on her studies. Kayla, who is also adopted, was excited to share that her family is in the process of formally adopting her sister. Like her mother, Kayla is strong-willed and independent. Her mother is her inspiration and remains the person she admires most. Kayla was raised to think and act for herself and never to be dependent on others. She does not give into the peer pressure to do drugs or drink, actions she believes can lead to bad consequences. Towards this, she has developed a personal philosophy of surrounding her self only with people who share her values.

Kayla has taken advantage of opportunities to prepare for college and the work world. She expressed how Starting Blocks has empowered her to be prepared for the job search and provided her with the tools to succeed. She is grateful for learning how to write documents like resumes and thank you letters and understanding just how important these documents can be. When Starting Blocks shared that the program would end with lessons on topics such as negotiation and managing personal finances, she exclaimed “A lot of people will need that, including me!”

As she reflects on her plans to leave home for dorm life in the fall, Kayla admits that change can be scary. Like many people, the fear of failure sometimes hinders her from taking on new challenges. Nevertheless, she chose Sacramento State because it offered the ideal combination of being close enough to home should she want extra support, but far enough away that she would experience living independently. She feels ready to embrace this independence and accept the new responsibilities to come. “After all,” she said, “my choices are to grow up now or wait until later to grow up and I know it will be harder then.”

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