|Stuart A. Kirk, me & Gerry Lavina|
Four years ago, I asked my friend & colleague Gerry to get me a copy of the doctoral program brochure for Social Welfare at UCLA. He did one better. He scheduled a meeting with me and the doctoral program chair, Stuart A. Kirk.
I was scared out of my mind sitting in that office with Stuart on August 12, 2008. I told him, "You don't understand - it's scary to me just talking to you about the program! I am trying to take baby steps." In the warmest and nonchalant manner, he said, "Let's help you take the next baby step."
I am walking into my fourth and final year (big words backed by big faith) of the program. I hope to graduate next June. Then I can apply for Assistant Professor positions in LA. Stuart believes I will get a job easily. I am in love with teaching. I am passionate about research. My life makes total and complete sense now.
It all started four years ago, in Stuart's office, prodded by Gerry and the Universe and all my mentors, family members, friends and of course, my mom. When standing in the middle of a blessing, my mother taught me to say - and now my daughter knows to say it as well - Thank You, Yesus! (Jesus with a Spanish accent). It is a "Thank You, Yesus" moment for me. Thanks, mom. I love jou.