Diana Basey

Paralegal Studies student and Welcome Center mentor, El Centro College

“Becoming a paralegal was always something I wanted to do, and I came to El Centro for that hands-on training. My Human Development class helped me in so many ways. When I took it, I was really going through some personal things and I didn’t know how to open up and tell someone. The instructor taught us a lot of tools about how to represent ourselves and understand our feelings. It made me look at myself and learn some new ways to express myself.

“I had always put everybody else before myself, but I learned that my feelings count as well. The class helped me to take the time to decide what I wanted to do, and I was able to get words down on paper — something I can still go back to and see how it can help me get past something that may be holding me up. The tools I learned in my HDEV class helped me press forward.

“I’m a single mom with three kids, and a full-time student. Sometimes, I still get overwhelmed, but I can calm down and deal with my situation and talk it through — and realize that what I’m going through is temporary; it won’t kill or destroy me. Then, as I press forward, all I see at the end is victory.

“Serving as a mentor and orientation leader at El Centro, I can help other people get focused and keep moving towards their goals. I meet people that I can encourage; encouragement is what keeps me going. I tell people it’s never too late to come back to school — just look at me. I’m getting an education and making a better life not just for myself but for my kids.”

An El Centro student since 2008, Diana Basey plans to finish her associate degree in Paralegal Studies by 2010 or 2011. She is a mentor and orientation leader in the college’s Welcome Center, having begun working with other students after taking her first HDEV class in Fall 2008.