By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant
Although she attended three different San Jose high schools before graduating, it wasn’t until Michelle Elliott had nearly completed her associate’s degree at Evergreen Valley College that she knew attending San Jose State was possible.
“That was the first time I realized I had the potential and ability to pursue my dreams,” said the senior business administration major. “I also knew that there was so much more I wanted to learn.”
Elliott is a student and employee mentor of the Educational Opportunity Program, which supports first generation, low-income, historically disadvantaged students.
Taking a Leap of Faith
She enjoys working with students that come from such backgrounds, but who do not let circumstances dictate their futures.
“They are taking a leap of faith and making a decision to challenge themselves because they believe they are worth it,” Elliott said.
Elliott also enjoys working with the EOP staff, which she says offers a gracious, motivating and structured environment for success.
“There is a great deal of community support, opportunities, and integrated projects, giving the students a fulfilling experience while attending school here,” Elliott said.
Getting Through Tough Times
Although Elliott’s inspiration comes from the students she mentors, she turns to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to get her through the tough times.
“Dr. Martin Luther King impacted my life by revealing the traits and characteristics of selflessness and love,” Elliott said.
Elliott’s support and encouragement helps fellow students transition to college life and adds to her personal growth.
“My favorite aspect of my job is working with students like myself, who believe in their hearts that there is more to their being than what they currently see,” she said.
This is reflected in her favorite quote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path,” Proverbs 3:5-6.