Homeless since she was 3, Nataly Romero makes a home at Berkeley

Nataly Romero, from video by Hector Amezcua of the Sacramento Bee

In one form or another, Nataly Romero has been homeless since she was 3, writes Marcos Bretón in the Sacramento Bee

“She was from everywhere and nowhere. She carried her suitcase and pillow to high school every day, with all her worldly belongings inside. She had family and yet she didn’t. Virtually every adult who cared for her as a child had failed her in some way. And yet, she has evolved into a young woman, having survived unspeakable hardships by dreaming of an education that was always out of her reach,” he relates. 

Last week, Romero graduated from Fresno High School with a 4.0 GPA, and now she is enrolled at UC Berkeley, taking part in the Summer Bridge program for incoming students. 

Her acceptance letter found her at a Fresno shelter for youthful runaways, Bretón writes. 

“I had a dream that they picked the wrong girl,” Romero is quoted as saying. She almost didn’t accept, because she didn’t feel worthy. But then another student confronted her, the story continues.

“I was trying to give this student advice and she said to me, ‘You’re trying to tell me to follow my steps but you’re letting (this opportunity) go? You’re going to stay here when you can go there?’ “

She enrolled, and plans to major in social work. She hopes to get a masters and a Ph.D. in psychology, according to the Bee story. 

Read Nataly's full story in the Sacramento Bee and watch a video about her