By Monica R. Correale
Graduate student at Humboldt State University
2014 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar
Growing up, school was a safe place for me. Going to class was the best part of my day—not only because it challenged and excited me, but because it was a temporary relief from my home life.
Child abuse, domestic violence, and my parents’ struggles with mental illness and substance abuse were among the myriad of issues that I faced every day. Although I enjoyed school and dreamt of professional success, it was difficult to envision a future for myself that differed from that of my parents. For much of my childhood and adolescence, I struggled with self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. I eventually realized that there was a long legacy of trauma and dysfunction in my family. It was at this point that I truly embraced my responsibility to develop myself into a healthy, productive person, not only to break the cycle in my own family, but in order to affect social change in the world.