Laura Gutierrez has accomplished much in a little time.
She moved from Mexico to Silicon Valley in 2013, with a commitment to learn – and master – English. She enrolled in a community college, first with a focus on English classes and then later to pursue a profession.
A few years later, she began dating her soon-to-be husband. The couple's son, Nathan, was born in October 2019 – when Laura was in her senior year at San Jose State University. Two weeks after delivering Nathan via C-section, Laura was back in the classroom.
It's been a busy seven years. But Laura's determination and hard work paid off with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on human resources. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a 3.9 grade-point average.
College scholarships from the JB Brown Fund allowed Laura to focus on her classes, completing college and later being a mother – and worry less about the cost of higher education. She received about $11,000 in college scholarships from the JB Brown Fund, a partnership between USA Properties Fund and social services provider LifeSTEPS.
“It helped out a lot,” says Laura, who learned about the JB Brown Fund college scholarship from her husband, who tapped into the program to complete his degree at San Jose State and become an elementary school teacher.
The couple live at Mayfair Court Apartments, a USA Properties-owned apartment community in San Jose.
“It paid for more than half of my tuition,” she says of the scholarships. “I really appreciate the help.”
Laura, who worked until a few weeks before the birth of Nathan, will soon begin her job search. She would like to join a company that embraces data analytics, especially when it comes to human resources.
“I fell in love with analytics,” says Laura, who enjoys math. “I like to look at the story behind the numbers. I want to help a company make the right decisions. But I also like the process of helping people.”
It's a belief that is the cornerstone of the JB Brown Fund.
“When I came here, I didn't even know English,” says Laura, who is grateful for the many donors that help others reach their goals. “It really helps people like me achieve their dreams.”