Lorna Contreras-Townsend

Occupation: Managing Director of Student Programs at SRA
Lorna is a Students Rising Above alum who has come full circle, now working with SRA to support other SRA students as an Advisor and as our Managing Director of Student Programs. Growing up, Lorna struggled with having disabled parents at home. She dreamed of completing a college education, but felt torn between pursuing her education and staying home with her family. Both Lorna’s Advisor and Mentor always made it a point to support Lorna in her decision and to reaffirm that her college education and career would be the best way to help her family, and to move forward with her goals.

Her SRA Advisor made sure that Lorna had the resources to be successful in her pursuit of higher education, and became a trusted source of advice and encouragement. While pursuing her degree in Politics from St. Mary’s College of Moraga, Lorna worked closely with SRA to explore career options and find relevant legal and marketing internships to help her figure out the right career direction. With SRA’s guidance and support, Lorna also studied abroad in Peru, and went on to get her Masters in Psychology from the Wright Institute.

It was not always an easy road, however. Lorna’s sophomore and junior years of college were tough. Lorna has admitted that she likely would have dropped out if not for SRA and her Advisor always rooting for her and convincing her to stay in school. Lorna now applies her first-hand experience of these challenges as she runs SRA’s student programs and advises current students on how to persist and achieve their dreams.