Meet Regina Regina is a remarkable person: full of intense energy, passion, personal warmth, and especially hope for a brighter future—her own and others’. But that hope wasn’t always there. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she fell into using drugs before finishing high school. Starting with marijuana, she moved to powder cocaine and finally to crack, becoming a (temporary) victim of that urban 1980’s plague. She kicked her habit with a reservoir of personal strength and the help of some good friends, ending up in Tacoma as a part of her effort to avoid her old ways.
Though she had managed to finish high school and hold down a job working with mentally and physically disabled people during much of her time in Philadelphia, Regina felt that she could do more with her life. She signed up to attend Evergreen Tacoma campus but discovered early in the orientation that she didn’t have the academic skills to succeed there. “Because of the bad choices I had made, I cheated myself out of a strong education.” That’s when TCH became part of Regina’s life. She enrolled in evening Adult Basic Education writing and math classes. While most people in these classes are seeking GEDs, it’s not uncommon for people like Regina to enroll for the purpose of improving their basic skills and taking advantage of opportunities for higher education. “TCH was a great help to my academic success. You were all very patient with us and had compassion for what we were going through.”
In January 2006, Regina entered Tacoma Community College. She finished her associate’s degree in the Human Services Professional program in June of 2009, and returned to Evergreen in the winter quarter to complete a bachelor’s degree. She’s pursuing a career in social services because she “always had a passion for working with and helping people” and because she knows life on the other side. Regina reports that her time at TCH was part of her long journey of realization. “We can move on in life. I have moved on. I want people to see that in spite of what they’ve done in the past, they can change and do right.”