Porterville College CalWORKs

Student Profile:

Working Hard To Reach Her Goals

“CalWORKs makes me feel like a person.”
Laura Espinoza

photo of Laura Espinoza

Laura Espinoza is a CalWORKs student that has utilized the services provided by the CalWORKs office to reach her goals. Her story begins with her working 40-55 hours a week at a local restaurant. Work consumed her life; which meant that she did not spend time with her adolescent son or husband. Her husband would work just as much as she did throughout the week. She saw her son jump from babysitter to babysitter but she thought there was nothing that she could do about it because she thought that by working she was providing him with opportunities in life. Her life changed in a matter of one day; her friend was watching her son and when Laura went to pick him up she saw that he had a red bandana. This was the turning point, the pivotal moment, the ah-hah moment in her life that she knew the quality of care and guidance her son was receiving was not good enough and she had to intervene.

This intervention came as a disguise. She went on vacation with her family to Florida and the mood shifted in her family dynamics. She noticed the family was getting along, there were no arguments, her relationship with her son and husband was connected and when she returned home she turned in her keys to her supervisor. Laura quit work during the spring semester of college but immediately enrolled for the summer session.

Laura chose Human Services as her career goal. This was the first career path because she wanted to become a gang interventionist. She wanted to prevent children from turning to gangs; something that she was familiar with in her family. Then she realized Human Services incorporates all different aspects: domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, and child welfare services. In these different classes and work sites she realized her ultimate goal is to transfer to a CSU or UC to work with Child Protective Services. Children continue to be her focus but with a different shift from her initial goal. There needs to be more people out there that care as much as she does for the world’s children. She has made it her personal mission to change lives.

While attending Porterville College, Laura was approved to receive support from the CalWORKs office. When asked, “What has CalWORKs done for you?” her response was “Everything-books, schedule for classes with counseling, job placement, advising, {and} being a good ear.” Laura has been a stellar participant in the CalWORKs program. She has utilized our work study program and has received high regards in every position that we have placed her in. This made her an excellent candidate to place off campus in our internship program. Knowing her major, we placed her with Central California Family Crisis Center to help her gain valuable work experience. Because she was such an excellent worker, CCFCC hired her on full time as one of their staff members!!! She loves her job! Family is very important to her and at CCFCC they incorporate her family and her son. The company is also very understanding and supportive in helping her pursue her educational goals.

Laura would like to mention that she has “really enjoyed everything, it was a big help, I don’t know what I would have done without the help!” She would also like to thank the CalWORKs staff for making her feel welcomed; and finally Juanita Barajas.

Ask a Counselor


What can PC CalWORKs do for you?

  • Child care referrals
  • Financial aid advising
  • Career development workshops
  • Work study programs on-campus
  • Off-campus job placement
  • Advancement toward vocational degree or certificate leading to employment
  • Links to key PC departments and outside agencies
  • Job training leading toward employment


  1. Referred by TulareWORKs caseworker. Must be receiving TANF case aid and have a Welfare-To-Work Plan
  2. Student  completes college matriculation process i.e. application, assessment and orientation
  3. Meets with counselor and enrolled in classes
  4. Completes PC CalWORKs paperwork i.e. application, release of information, Ed Plan and Activity Plan
  5. Student provides the Agency Certification "gold form" to the PC CalWORKs Office


  • Educational, academic, financial and personal counseling
  • Job placement on and off campus
  • Book services
  • Workshops
  • Work-study
  • Child care

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Mission Statement

The Porterville College CalWORKs Program serves students and their families challenged with social and economic barriers to achieve self-sufficiency through higher education and training; offering career opportunities through collaboration and advocacy with our college and community partners; as well as encouraging the enrollment, retention, and transfer of our students to expand their human potential and enrich the quality of their lives.


Maria Roman

Director of CalWORKs

791-2364 mroman@portervillecollege.edu

Yolanda Vasquez

CalWORKs Counselor

791-2465 yvasquez@portervillecollege.edu

Araceli Carranza

CalWORKs Counselor

559-791-2367 acarranza@portervillecollege.edu  

Diana Cabrera

Department Assistant III



Irene Ortega

Program Technician

559-791-3661 Irene.ortega@portervillecollege.edu

Office Hours:

Mon and Thurs:  8am – 5:30pm
Tues and Wed:  8am – 6:30pm
Fridays:  8am-12noon
Office Phone:  559-791-2303