Chase Charaba, Online and Social Media Manager
“I went down to Tucson, Ariz. to get a change of pace and scenery (as well as) opportunities. It was hard to find a job down there, and one thing led to another and the money that we did make we were paying to one of our friends. There were three of us living in this house, and he had his name on the lease and all the bills. Well, he wasn’t around for a week and it was the first of the month, and he ended up pocketing all that money, so none of the bills were being paid and the rent wasn’t being paid, and everyone came on the same day and we had to be out that day. So, like, what do you pack? I grabbed a duffel bag full of clothes with my other friend and we lived on the streets of Tucson. So, we just got by with community handouts, slept under bridges, behind storefronts and basically got by.
After that, we moved to Mexico and lived in Mexico for three months. We took a Greyhound down to the Mexican village of Puerto Peñasco and lived down there. It was quite fun. Puerto Peñasco has dirt streets, very different class systems. I see it more now that I’m taking sociology, and I took anthropology last quarter, so it really opened my eyes to how others see Americans.
I came back up here (to Puyallup) because my grandpa actually was in the hospital, so I wanted to be closer to him. Also, my nieces and nephews were young and I wanted to watch them grow up because I don’t have any kids of my own. I knew that I needed to do something because I’m also a high school dropout, so I came to Pierce College initially to do high school completion, and I finished that last August. They were advising me to continue to pursue a degree, so I was able to see what I could do and I ended up coming back, so I started here last summer. I want to work with the oncology team in dosimetry. I’m working on an associate of biology here at Pierce and hopefully transferring to the University of Texas to earn a degree in biology.”
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