Claudia Gonzalez has become the first “Whyld Girl” to graduate college. Claudia graduated from Des Moines Area Community College and has been accepted by the University of Northern Iowa to begin classes in the fall.
Whyld Girls is a program of Children and Family Urban Ministries, supported by United Way Education Leadership Initiative (ELI) dollars and volunteers. The program focuses on adolescent girls to help them achieve their potential in school and in the world.
Claudia has received several scholarships to UNI, including the Roy J. Carver scholarship, which is awarded to individuals who have overcome challenges in their lives in order to pursue higher education.
She was in the first "class" of Whyld Girls, beginning her participation when she was in 6th grade. She was also a spark that helped begin the Whyld Girls High School Student Mentor program to mentor the younger Whyld Girls, and was the first Whyld Girl to ask for a connection with a life coach. Her life coach, Deborah Svec-Carstens, has been alongside Claudia every step along the way.
Click here to read the December 2009 feature about Claudia and the positive life changes she achieved through Whyld Girls.