Sequoia Thompson recalls watching the sun rise day after day as she drove the Metro No. 2 bus along Sunset Boulevard from downtown Los Angeles to Westwood. When Thompson would pull into UCLA, she would park the bus and walk to Ackerman Union to get something to eat, envious of all the people she saw on their way to lectures and labs.
“It was so hard because I really wanted to go back to school,” said Thompson, whose educational career got sidetracked by working through gender identity and sexuality issues, uncertainty about studying psychology and working to support herself financially. “I thought my life choices had made it impossible. UCLA was something that I didn’t even think was possible for me.”
But after working several years in a variety of jobs, Thompson made it to UCLA. The now 33-year-old is on course to graduate June 15 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in LGBTQ studies.