California State University, BakersfieldCisco Scholar
Gracelove Simons always knew she would go to college but worried about student debt. As the daughter of a Ghanaian-American single mother, Gracelove and her younger brother grew up in childcare while their mother worked long hours to make ends meet for them and their four other siblings.
Today, Gracelove is a sophomore at California State University, Bakersfield, earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an emphasis on computer programming and a minor in music.
Gracelove currently works at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield and has volunteered at a local convalescent home for the past two years. Gracelove also plans to put her computer science degree to work as a programming analyst at a local K-12 school and then pursue a career in software engineering.