SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria graduated almost 750 students Friday. Many of them are headed off to four-year schools.
Sara Galindo is graduating with honors and she is headed to the Bay Area to attend the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.
"After I got these strange looks from people like, 'you're trying to transfer to Berkeley,' I finally realized that maybe it is bigger than other people imagined it," said Galindo.
The young woman has truly come a long way from what was a less-than-ideal childhood.
"As a child, I was sexually abused by my father and I was neglected very much. And when it was discovered that I was being abused in that way, I was put into the foster system and I was adopted by a family who abused me sexually, mentally, emotionally and physically," said Galindo.
The young woman ran away from that abusive life she had lived when she was 18. She persevered and turned the page, ready to start this new chapter of her life.
"Two years ago, I wouldn't have imagined myself being able to graduate on this amazing stage or being blessed to know so many people," said Galindo.
At graduation she received one of the school's highest honors -- The Marian-Hancock Scholarship. She plans to study psychology at Berkeley.