Live Your Dream Awards Stories: Jules Patrice Means

Jules is a past recipient of the Live Your Dream Awards, one of thousands of remarkable women reached by this renowned Soroptimist program. Jules wants to share her extraordinary story of how the awards have changed her life.

What were some of the challenges you faced that kept you from pursuing your dreams?

There were times in my life when I truly believed my dreams would disappear forever. One of the challenges/obstacles I faced happened in 2009 & 2010 when I had two strokes. When my doctor said I would not be able to walk without the use of a cane or walker, I felt my life was over and the world as I knew it was no longer recognizable. I became extremely depressed, and I did not know what I would do, or who I was. I lost my will to move forward.

My doctor prescribed medications to help cope with these dramatic changes. The medicine gave me the opportunity to quiet the doubts and fears plaguing me. I realized that my life was not over, merely that I was moving in a new direction. I woke up one morning and decided not just to do nothing with my life. I knew I had to change. I began to believe in my therapy regiment and soon was able to regain mobility in my legs and I learned to walk again.

What made you want to change your life?

I realized I could believe in the new person I had become, I asked myself, what did I want to accomplish that I had not been able to do while raising my children? The first thing that came to mind was to go to college and obtain an education. I always put my family first, but always heard a small voice in the back of my mind that dreamed of different possibilities. Though I was petrified just thinking about going to college, I could not give up on my dreams. I seized the opportunity to become a dedicated student at both Los Medanos College and Diablo Valley College.

What was your dream?

My dream was to be accepted into the University of California Berkeley and earn dual degrees in Sociology and Administration of Justice. I am pleased to announce that I have been accepted UC Berkeley’s offer to attend their prestigious university. According to their offer letter, in light of my outstanding credentials, the Office Undergraduate Admissions staff reviewed almost 18,000 transfer applications of extraordinary quality before selecting me for an offer to attend UC Berkeley. I am attending my second semester, and due to achieving a 3.8 GPA, I was conducted into the Chi of California, the UC Berkeley Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta International of Sociology Honor Society.

Jules’ acceptance letter from UC Berkeley and a stuffed UC bear memento.

What are you studying in school and why?

My major is Sociology within the Letters & Sciences Division. I am studying diligently to earn my bachelor’s (B.A.) and Masters of Arts (M.A) degrees. I decided to pursue a degree in Sociology because it is a dynamic and powerful tool for understanding the way people organize themselves into families, groups, communities, cities and organizations, and societies. Sociological theories and concepts help me to understand social problems such as crime, poverty, racism, violence against women and children, and sexism and allow me to contribute to their solutions.

How did it feel to receive the Live Your Dream Award?

When I was notified that I had received the Live Your Dream Award, I was extremely excited, thrilled and grateful. I immediately called several of my family members and friends to share the “great” news!

How will the Live Your Dream Award help you live your dream?

The Live Your Dream Award helped me live my dream by providing me with the support and funds so that I could concentrate on learning and not worry about how I could afford to purchase my textbooks, transportation expenses, etc. By removing the financial barriers, the Live Your Dream Award helped make my education and career goals more straightforward to obtain and allowed me to spend more time studying which ultimately led me to achieve excellent grades and increased my chances for continuing to graduate school.

As you work towards your goal, how do you stay motivated from day-to-day?

I stay motivated from day to day by:

  • Visualizing my goals
  • Developing a routine
  • Make weekly checkpoints to track my progress

What advice would you give your children or other women who are on a quest to live their dream?

It is my firm belief that education is the KEY to unlocking those doors that are preventing you from reaching your goals. My advice to share with both children and women who are on a quest to live their dream, would be to reach for the stars and dream “big” and aspire to do the best in their lives. Most importantly, to set their goals based on something that is important to them, high enough to be challenging but reasonable enough to achievable!

Any thing else you want to share with the world, Jules?

I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of Soroptimist and Live Your Dream who unselfishly support the educational endeavors of women such as myself. Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement but most importantly for believing in me!

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