The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Justice without justice


When it comes to life, everybody’s situation of how they grew up is different. 

Some people might have grown up having a good childhood, while others didn’t. When it came to Susie’s life, she experienced the worst of it all. Susie, 33, who grew up in Sacramento and now attends City College, had her young life turned upside down. 

She found out about family lies and grew up in a household without her parents. She says her childhood was ruined from horrible experiences, which forced her to transition to adulthood overnight. These experiences left her with a broken heart.

“I had a feeling that if this experience wasn’t going to affect me as a child, then it’s definitely going to affect me as an adult,” Susie said. “But, at the end of the day, the best thing I can do is make sure I don’t follow in anyone’s footsteps, stay in my lane, and more importantly keep my distance from family.”

Susie was raised by her aunt without even knowing how the situation came about at first. Susie was told one story from the person who raised her and then years later, she was told a different story from a different person. Not only did this confuse her, the new information changed everything, and she knew that her life was not going to be the same.  “I’ve known Susie for 20.5 years, and although I knew a little bit about her childhood, what stood out to me was that she overcame adversity and bounced back despite all the obstacles that were against her,” said Margarita Leyva, a college student at American River College and one of Susie’s friends from junior high school in Rio Linda.

Despite all her challenges, Susie was able to make something of herself. She attended Taylor Street Elementary in North Sacramento, where she made friends. More importantly, she was introduced to life along with normal experiences, whether it got her into trouble or not. She eventually attended Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove. 

Throughout the years in her life, Susie not only made more friends, but she ended up getting exposed to more things that went a long way and would stick with her as she got older. Susie says that if there’s one important thing that she learned throughout her life, it was that despite how different her family was or the household she grew up in, she always knew the value of those people she was close to and also trusted. They were very important to her, and she cared about them as if they were her actual family.

“One thing that really surprised me was when she acknowledged her whole crew on National Employee Appreciation Day in 2022, and she gave everyone a card and $50 to show her appreciation, and the job didn’t even do that,” said Joann Nelms, one of Susie’s coworkers with the Department of General Services for the State of California and also a friend. “It was really amazing, and she’s full of amazement and full of surprises, and I loved it.”  

In addition to what she learned in life, Susie also remembered what she said to herself since the age 15: “Do the best I can to stay out of trouble and on the right path as an adult.”

When it comes to success, to Susie it’s all about staying in the right direction and right path, getting a great education, doing something productive and constructive while not relying on any family members, trying to do the best she can on her own, and more importantly being a leader and self-starter. “I remembered several months ago talking to Susie, and she told me she was thinking about going back to school,” said Brian Havers, who was one of the former instructional assistants from Laguna Creek High School and a current friend of Susie’s. “I was surprised that she was thinking about it, because I know her first try at college didn’t end how she wanted it, so having the guts to try again after gaining the wisdom of the last decade takes a lot of courage. I believe that successful people fail a lot, but they don’t let it stop them from trying and learning.” 

“Susie is such an incredible person, very educated, and also respectful,” said Ana Herrera, a former coworker and current friend of Susie’s from the Natomas Unified School District. “She is also a hard working person with a genuine heart and is always willing to help anyone who knows her.”

With everything Susie has been through, she has still managed to keep going by staying strong as an independent person and making the most of it in the best way possible. In fact, Susie is a college student at Sacramento City College and currently taking classes while working two jobs at the same time, and living in the same apartment complex that she’s lived in for 10 years. 

“Susie is one of the hardest working people I know,” said Lee Lorta, a current State of California employee and another friend of Susie’s. “As far as I know, she has never had a vehicle in her entire life, and yet she is always working a lot of hours. Her commitment to do what she says she is going to do is not only a great trait, but that’s what also makes her intelligent and extraordinary.”

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  • Y

    YolandaAug 30, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    That is so awesome

  • L

    Lol I WalkerAug 28, 2023 at 8:11 pm

    Very well written, I enjoyed reading your Journey, you are a beautiful writer.