Olivia Murphy says taking some time off from SBCC during the pandemic actually made her a better student. She took the time to determine her focus, and returned with a greater drive to earn her degree and pursue a career that she is passionate about.

“I am very grateful for the two years I had as an SBCC Promise student, starting in 2017. After testing out of high school (at SBHS) early, I got a head start and was able to create the foundation for my education at SBCC while exploring areas of study that interested me,” Olivia said. Her interests include environmental activism, human rights, psychology and sociology.

Olivia will graduate in spring 2023 with an associate degree in sociology, and is planning to pursue a career in law, focusing on human rights and the role of environmental impacts on people living in poverty. She is transferring to UC Berkeley in the fall and looking forward to it.

“The faculty at SBCC is outstanding, and they are really here to teach,” Olivia said. “So many of them have distinguished backgrounds and have chosen to teach at SBCC.” She added that participating in clubs at SBCC has been one of the highlights of her college experience so far. She is president of the Green Club, a group that participates in beach cleanups, holds gatherings to discuss ways to be more environmentally conscious, and focuses on other aspects of environmental activism. “If an incoming student asked me for advice, I would definitely recommend that they join one or more clubs! It’s a fun way to boost your resume or application, and a great way to meet people.”

The SBCC Promise has played an important role in Olivia’s educational journey, covering all costs at SBCC for those first two years, allowing her to take foundational courses and discover her passions by taking a range of courses in fields such as anthropology, geography, and sociology. She is excited about her future and looks forward to taking the next steps!

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