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Studying in Europe & Puerto Rico

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Hello Family & Friends,
My name is Sonia Magana and I am twenty-two years old. I am currently a full-time student at California State University, Northridge where my major is Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. My educational goal is to complete my bachelor’s degree and attend graduate school for a degree in either Law Studies or Counseling. I wish to pursue a career in the law enforcement field and help the community feel safe.

I have been given the wonderful opportunity of studying in Europe this May 2015 as well as in Puerto Rico for the spring 2016 semester. My colleagues and I will be traveling to Paris and Provence in France and Barcelona in Spain to study the criminal justice systems in other countries. I also plan to take Criminal Justice and Sociology classes while in Puerto Rico through the National Student Exchange program in order to continue enhancing my knowledge in the field that I truly care about. Taking these opportunities will be beneficial to my educational success as I will use the knowledge and experience to help my community. My hope is to use methods that foreign countries and states use to improve their communities and apply it here in California.

Unfortunately, these trips come with an expensive price tag. The Europe trip alone will cost approximately $3,500 which includes: round trip airfare, accommodations, on- tour transportation, meals, full time tour director, guided sightseeing, entrances to Notre Dame; Louvre; Papal Palace; Amphitheater in Nîmes; Pont du Gard; Park Güell, worldwide support, safety and security, and curriculum integration.

I estimate Puerto Rico expenses will be approximately $7,000 which include: air fare, tuition, board and room fees, monthly rent, daily meals, and transportation.  

Financials have always been a burden for me; however, I would not want to miss these wonderful opportunities due to lack of funds. It would mean the world to me if my family, friends and community helped me fulfill this once in a lifetime opportunity. With any amount of contribution, you can help make my dreams come true.  I will keep this page active while on the trips and update it with pictures.

I promise to everyone who aid and support me by donating that I will send a post card from Europe or Puerto Rico.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my story. You are appreciated! May God bless you for your kindness.

My story:
I find it amazing how the children of farm-working parents value education. I believe this is because the children of farm workers recognize the hard work their parents have endured to provide a good life for them. My parents came to this country in pursuit of the American dream and freedom from the economic hardships and lack of opportunities in Mexico. They have always supported my siblings and I and have motivated us to pursue higher education. Working in the fields is very hard work especially considering the inadequate wages. My family’s social class ranges in the lower- mid section. My parents may not speak English well, but, with their hard work and dedication, they have given us a safe and happy place to live. In Santa Paula, many people do not continue their education due to having to finacially help their family right after high school and/or unfortunate circumstances. I want to become a role model to my community, just like my sister, by doing so. I want to be an example to others and prove that children from hard working families can pursue higher education and have a successful life. Currently, I moved out of my safe and happy place in order to pursue higher education. As such, I pay for my own daily meals, rent and expenses. Thankfully, with my parents’ contribution and a few loans, I am able to pay tuition as well as pay for school materials.

I am the youngest child of a family of six and at age of twenty-two, I was able to obtain my Associate Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I could have completed my educational journey after achieving my AA, but I knew that I had to continue. I had to continue because I want make my parents proud and I want them to see the reason they came to the United States; seeing their children live the American Dream. I decided to take the next step in continuing my educational goals and I now attend California State University, Northridge to pursue and obtain my bachelor’s degree. One of my many dreams is to attend a four-year university and double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology. My siblings' career backgrounds have sparked my passion for the criminal justice fields, which include forensic sciences, crime laboratory analysis and law enforcement. [My oldest brother is currently serving the United States Army; my sister is a probation officer and my other brother is a Marine.] Therefore, I decided that a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice is imperative for me to gain knowledge in the sciences and prepare me for my career. During my studies, I came to realize that the field of Criminal Justice is underrepresented by women and I decided I want to add my name to the list of role models for women in the field.

Currently, I am serving AmeriCorps interning with JusticeCorps. As a minimum time member I am required to complete 300 hours for the academic year serving at my designated courthouse assisting litigants. I have completed 100+ hours thus far. Proposed graduation date is May 2015.
JusticeCorps Minimum-time members:
Assist self-represented litigants in court-based self-help centers by providing legal information to litigants regarding family law, housing, civil harassment temporary restraining orders and name changes and other pending legal forms, participate in at least one of two annual Days of Service, attend mandatory trainings and other Member Development opportunities.
In addition to other special community service projects focused on the courts and legal access, these statewide service days give members an opportunity to support the community they serve in other ways. Projects in the past have included beautification of shared city spaces, marches, and rehabilitation of schools or parks through painting murals and planting gardens.

Words are powerless to express my gratitude.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart : )
Anything helps & will make a difference.


  • Monica Arana
    • $36 (Offline)
    • 9 yrs
  • Nick Flores
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 9 yrs
  • Jackie Vera
    • $30 (Offline)
    • 9 yrs
  • Erika Texin
    • $30 (Offline)
    • 9 yrs
  • Gina Magana
    • $135 (Offline)
    • 9 yrs


Sonia Magaña
Santa Paula, CA

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