"I can get here as soon as 8:30 in the morning after I drop my girls off at school," she said. "I gained a lot of skills, a lot of work experience and hands-on skills, but not having that piece of paper was always a barrier for me."
It was a piece of paper she was very close to getting.
"I actually left two classes short of graduating," Perez-Williams said.
"They leave college with debt, but no degree," Lt. Governor-elect Joe Garcia said.
Garcia is the former president of Colorado State University Pueblo and is part of a campaign to get working adults back to campus. It is called Complete College Colorado.
"People feel trapped because they have a job. They're afraid to leave. They're worried they can't afford college and they're worried that they've forgotten what they once learned," Garcia said.
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It was a very, very scary decision to make," Perez-Williams said.
But for Perez-Williams and many thousands of others out there, it all boils down to one question: Are you happy with your current track in life?
"I really needed to make a decision. Was I comfortable where I was in my career? No," Perez-Williams said.
"There are a lot of opportunities out there, but people aren't aware of them and so if they're not aware of them, they can't take advantage of them," Garcia said.
That is the point of Complete College Colorado - to help students discover current opportunities for financial aid or loans.
"There are ways to make it work for you and your family. You just have to be really intentional about seeking our resources in the community and they're here," Perez-Williams said.
She says if a working mother of four can do it, anyone can.
"My own mother started her college career when she was 56 at a community college and earned her bachelor's degree when she was 63. It's never too late," Garcia said.
"It may be a tougher road. It may be. There may be more challenges and barriers for us to overcome. But we can overcome them," Perez-Williams said.
Garcia says there are a disproportionally high number of men of color with only some education.
"We want them to know that there are programs, financial aid programs, as well as support programs that will help them succeed and they'll see that they're not alone," Garcia said.
He wants to create more stories like Perez-Williams.
She is getting ready to take her finals next week and has already been accepted at CSU, where she will pursue her masters in ethnic studies.
"My intentions were always to come back and I think that everybody's intentions are always to come back," she said.
Learn more at www.completecollegecolorado.com.
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