More Than A Name

My name is Yesenia Coronado Briceño, but many know me as Jenny or Senia. As we say in my culture, ‘es un placer conocerle’, ‘pleasure to meet you’. I am a 38-year-old Mexican American married mother of four and proud soon to be, first generation college graduate. I was born in the city of Los Angeles CA in 1984 where I went to school for the first six years of my life and enjoyed the sunny beaches and busy streets.

When I was around seven, my family and I moved to Fontana CA. As the eldest daughter of five children, I developed a sense of leadership and compassion from a very young age. I enjoyed going to church, taking care of children, singing with my father, and helping my mother cook and clean around the house. When I was 16, I became a teenage mother, got extremely sick, and due to the lack of tools and financial resources, I dropped out of high school. By the time I was 22, I was married with four children and dedicated my life to raising who I call my blessings. During that time, I enjoyed volunteering in my children’s classrooms and church, making birthday and wedding cakes, and any creative pastime that allowed me to express myself and help others. However, in the year 2014, my life changed forever. My youngest daughter Chelsea was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Seven months into her diagnosis, shy of her 8th birthday, my baby took her last breath in my arms. She was one of the strongest human beings I ever met. Her love for school and determination to making the best out of each day is something that I will never forget. After her passing, I thought I was never going to recover but with the love and support of my family I found a place that could help me heal and I could make a positive impact in my children’s lives.

In 2018, I enrolled into San Bernardino Valley College where I began my higher education journey. I graduated with two high honor associate degrees and transferred to California State University San Bernardino. Today, I am I senior and prospective multiple subject credential student. It is with hard work that I have come to achieve a 4.0 GPA and be the first person in my entire family to graduate from college. During the pandemic, I became a grandmother to the most beautiful human being in the world, Malakai. Even though college is extremely demanding, Malakai, or Kai as I like to call him, has taught me to enjoy the little things in life.

I am a mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, niece, cousin, and a friend. I am also a student and a young woman at heart. I love to organize, listen to music, clean, cook, and most of all learn. Some say that I am a perfectionist, but I say that I am meticulous and determined. My love language are acts of service. Any opportunity I have to make someone’s life better is a moment of joy for me. My favorite place to visit is the beach. I enjoy listening to the waves and watching the horizon on a sunny day. Every opportunity I have I take to visit my grandma in the lovely Jalisco, Mexico. When I am not busy in school, I live to spoil my children by cooking their favorite meals. In the near future, I hope to travel the world, learn new languages, and expand on my cultural understanding.

Even when tragedies occur, more often than not, it is possible to overcome the stages of loneliness and frustration. Like the butterfly effect, I have transformed my life by deciding to make changes, learn from every experience, and improve daily. This portfolio is just a fragment of the education I have gained and the environments that influenced it. It’s an introduction to the new chapter that awaits post-graduation. I do not expect to be praised nor do I appreciate being judged, but I will say that I have come a long way and will continue to value the moments and people who have supported me through my development. My name is Yesenia, but I am more than a name. I am proof that transformation is possible at any stage in life.