Homeless transgender ELAC student faces new obstacles during pandemic

By Johanna Calderon

Being a homeless student can be difficult while not having a family in California that they can stay with while they are going to school. Not knowing how they are going to do it and figure out where to get help.

Kathleen Monteon who goes by Kit, a transgender student who sacrificed a lot to go to school. He started attending East Los Angeles College in 2017.

His family moved back to Tijuana because his mother could not fix their document to stay in the United States and his mother wanted him to go back with her, but he couldn’t give up his dreams.

Monteon majors in animation and music. He thought that he couldn’t major in two subjects but found out it was possible so he decided to do it.

Before the school was shut down and classes moved online because of COVID-19, he was able to get help from his professors. 

One of the professors was Jim Uyekawa who helped Monteon by giving him vouchers so he could eat at the cafeteria, said Monteon.  

When the school was open, he was able to use the shower to keep himself clean.

Monteon said it was impossible for him to go to a shelter because they have a curfew and he attended night classes that he couldn’t take in the morning.. 

“In between breaks I go to my truck to sleep or do homework before my other class starts,” Monteon said. 

In addition the hard part for him to have online class is keeping concentration.

“I have ADHD…I have my own distraction stuff so when I don’t have what I have to do…when I’m in class focusing on my task.” he said.

Once quarantine started he realized that he was going to have difficulties because he couldn’t go places to get free access to the internet and was getting behind on the homework he said. He had to drop two of his classes because it was too much.

“Lucky my friend took me in, but I still get distracted and do my best to get my work done.” said Monteon.

Overall Monteon has a positive attitude about the circumstance that he is dealing with.

Although his family told him that he should go to Tijuana because he would have a roof over his head and plus he will be all  online so he won’t miss his class In the end he decided to stay in Long Angeles for the long run.

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