The odds were stacked against Margen Dishmon. A foster youth since the grandparents who were raising her passed away when she was a young teen, Dishmon found herself being shuttled through shelters and bouncing between foster homes. It didn’t take long to fall behind in her schooling. Her plans for the future were opaque at best.
“I missed so much of my education,” Dishmon said. “It really messed me up.”
How times have changed. Now 23, Dishmon graduates in June from Grossmont College with an associate degree in business administration. She already has been accepted to Cal State San Marcos, Cal State Los Angeles and San Francisco State University, and she is waiting to hear back from San Diego State University before deciding where to secure a bachelor’s degree in finance en route to a career running an organization helping foster youth find their way.
Her achievements have left an impression on many.
“Margen grew up in foster care, and she had very little support for college,” said Brian Woolsey, a Grossmont College counselor who works closely with current and former foster youth. “She faced both housing and food insecurity while at Grossmont, but she took advantage of the resources the college has, got involved with the nonprofit Just in Time for Foster Youth and worked hard to keep herself afloat financially – and to earn the grades to get into a good university. She is an amazing example of a student who set a goal and pursued it.”