Queen Ashonti Juarez Ward
Compton College student Queen Ashonti Juarez Ward has not let the many barriers and setbacks she has faced in her past stop her from achieving her life goals, in fact, it has strengthened the first-generation college student's resolve to do more and help others achieve their dreams.
"My mother passed away when I was in high school, so my grandparents helped raise me and after graduating from high school I had to work two jobs, 16 hours a day just to have the basics," she said. "I have gone through so much tragedy and challenge that I really try to be practical in my decisions. For nontraditional students like me, community college is the best option, providing more personalized assistance and cost savings. I also want to be at a college with people like me who can relate to my life experiences--Compton College is that place."
Juarez Ward was elected earlier this year by her peers to serve as president of the Associated Student Body (ASB) for the 2020-21 academic year. She was inspired to run for an office on the ASB Council by her passion for helping others. "I wish to share my experience and knowledge of available resources, both at Compton College and in the community, with other students as they take their guided pathway in education to another level," said Juarez Ward. "Helping others is like my therapy; I love to see students, our college, and the community thrive."
She is a behavioral science major with aspirations to pursue a career as a high school or college administrator. She is also pursuing a certificate in health and fitness. Juarez Ward is on track to graduate from Compton College with an associate degree in spring 2021 and transfer to a four-year university. She plans to apply to the California State University system, private colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions. She is also counting on her academic performance to help earn financial aid and scholarships to lighten the financial burden. "I am the oldest of five sisters and I want to be their role model," she said.
Juarez Ward previously served on the Compton College ASB as commissioner of public relations and athletics. She works at 24 Hour Fitness and volunteers her time to help others at local food pantries, as a CalFresh ambassador, and as a mentor at the Research Design Academy.
Many of the services and programs offered to students at Compton College have helped Juarez Ward on her educational journey. She has taken advantage of the First Year Experience program, peer-to-peer tutoring, work study, Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS), STEM Center tutoring, the Tartar Food Pantry, and more. According to Juarez Ward, "The Office of Student Development and the campus' online bookstore were very helpful when courses went solely online beginning in spring 2020."