JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Formerly Homeless Single Mom Plans to Launch Nonprofit for Foster Youth
Kentfield, CA—May 25, 2012—June Farmer, 53, a single mother, who spent two years in a homeless shelter and in transitional housing with young twins, will be be transferring to Dominican University from College of Marin with a vision to create an organization dedicated to providing critical services to foster youth.
“When I first came to College of Marin I was coming to take courses I thought would help me help my boys with their homework,” Farmer said. “Four years later, I was still here.”
Farmer, who had wanted to be a systems analyst when she was young, graduated from a San Francisco High School in 1976 and earned a university scholarship but left school and had a child when she was 20. She worked in a series of jobs — for a bank, a phone company, the U.S. Post Office, a city bus agency and a bakery – supporting three children on her own. She attended community colleges in the Bay area but health problems forced her to leave school several times and she fell on hard times.
Through the CalWORKs assistance program, Farmer was able to return to college and in 2010 earned an Associate in Science degree in Business Management Business Management from College of Marin. She has continued her studies at College of Marin in order to complete the requirements for transferring to Dominican University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Management.
“At COM I got a lot of help,” she said, recalling how a student ambassador introduced her to the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Reentry Service Programs which provided guidance and support. A campus work-study job helped her support her family while keeping studies a priority. She has been a member of the Dean’s list and Alpha Gamma Sigma Honors Society
“My career goals have changed since attending College of Marin,” she said. A dream to open a Christian retail store now includes a plan to use the proceeds to launch a nonprofit community organization to serve emancipated foster children. A life-changing experience writing an English paper on homelessness introduced her to the challenges of youth in foster care.
“Nobody showed them the love and support they needed to make it in the world so I want to be a resource for them,” Farmer said. The Emancipation Mission will provide educational and career opportunities, life skills, health, nutrition and financial disciplines. It will be designed “to prevent homelessness and decrease the number of young adults from the foster care system from entering the prison system.”
Farmer is a volunteer driver for community senior programs and a volunteer case manager with the Youth Court, a YMCA program for first-time misdemeanor offenders. She is transferring to Dominican University to study management in the Pathways program, an evening bachelor’s degree program for working adults. Her children are proud of her, she said.
“I had always wanted to go back and finish school. Instead of moving forward, I got pregnant when I was 20 so I needed to start working and support the family as single mom. Going back to school was always in my heart. It’s been a long journey but it’s worth it.”
Farmer will be one of the speakers tonight at the Transfer Recognition Reception, sponsored by College of Marin Transfer and Career Center.
Transfer Recognition Reception
Friday, May 25, 6:30 p.m.
Student Services Dining Area, College of Marin Kentfield Campus.
Individual recognition will be given to students, including schools accepted to, school accepted, scholarships and other honors. Participating transfer students also receive a transfer medallion. Light refreshments and entertainment will be provided. Family and friends are invited to attend.
“I’m going to talk a little bit about being prepared and staying the course,” she said. “That’s the path I’m on right now. Don’t give up. I almost gave up a couple times. The last time I almost gave up I ended up on the honor role. I thought I was falling behind.”
This release is posted here.