Straight A’s and college bound despite the odds

When she started her senior year at Roosevelt High School this fall, Carolina, 17, worried she wouldn’t find the motivation for online learning.

A teenager in foster care, she felt she had a home on the Roosevelt campus, where she formed tight bonds with teachers and was a leader among her peers. Online learning stripped away much of the in-person support she relied on.

“I felt like I needed to be face-to-face with someone and have those connections right there in the classroom just to feel motivated to do my work,” she said.

But Carolina has wanted to go to college since she was a little girl: “I’ll be the first in my family,” she said. So she persevered, even when her internet cut out again and again. She is now getting straight A’s and is also working as a school ambassador, helping encourage middle school students as they prepare to start high school.

“She lives by these values of wanting to give back,” said Jorge Lopez, Carolina’s teacher at Roosevelt, which is one of 19 historically underserved L.A. schools managed by the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

The Times is not publishing Carolina’s last name to protect her privacy as a minor in foster care.

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