All her life, Carla Pray struggled with making sense of the world. At 7, her family doctor diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Disorder and told her she’d grow out of it. As an adult, however, she experienced abuse, homelessness, joblessness and the inability to care for her three children.
“A year and a half ago I was diagnosed with cyclothymia bipolar disorder,” said Pray, 27. “I have struggled with every aspect of my adult life, never understanding that my problem was mental illness.”
Family support and therapy have allowed her “to concentrate and accomplish basic and complex tasks without interruption or failure. Best of all, I have gained control of my life and have begun to build much needed self-esteem. Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you are any less capable or deserving than the next person.”
Working toward a degree in Computer Information Systems at Oakland Community College, Pray will use the $1,000 scholarship for transportation costs and books.
“Achieving my educational goals will give me and my children a chance to have a full and happy life that we never have had before. With my education I can afford to give them the things that right now I have to rely on others to help me give them.”