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Patricia Watson '04—California

Patricia Watson Patricia Watson has set her sites on being a social worker — and knows what it will take to get there.

An employment counselor with the Alameda County Social Services Department in California, she currently helps people remain eligible for Welfare. But once she is a social worker, she can do so much more.

All she needs is her bachelor's degree, which she'll complete this year.

"Helping people fulfills a piece of me," Watson said. "To work with someone so they don't have to struggle is the greatest joy."

That's why Watson doesn't mind taking classes at Columbia College-Coast Guard Island. In fact, she said, she's looked forward to each class as an opportunity to learn and grow in ways she never imagined, even though the courses have been more challenging than she thought.

"People have said to me that I've definitely earned this degree," Watson said. "Columbia College instructors say at the beginning of each session that we are going to learn something — and we definitely have."

Watson knows the work and investment will be worth it, though. Once she has her degree, she can start looking for her dream job.

"I never thought I would attain this goal," she said. "For the first time in my life, I've chosen to make my life better. Now I am going to enjoy it."



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