California State University, SacramentoWilliam Randolph Hearst Scholar
Jolene Ford decided to pursue higher education after being diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s. As a result of her diagnosis, she struggled with years of clinical depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Her pursuit of higher education helped her regain self-confidence and define her life's purpose in helping people affected by HIV/AIDS. Today, Jolene is a graduate student at CSU Sacramento pursuing a master's degree in social work.
Jolene volunteers at Sunburst Projects, a nonprofit agency that supports families and individuals infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. As a volunteer medical case manager, Jolene has committed over 300 hours to helping people in the HIV/AIDS community rebound from social obstacles, manage medical issues, and recover from emotional hardships. She recently shared her personal story in a book project to inspire and support others that encounter diagnosis with HIV/AIDS.
After completion of her master's degree program, Jolene plans to continue her career in the field of social work.