few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has been in
Carla Roberts is an inspiration to everyone she meets at San Francisco's
Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP). Roberts came to HPP 16 years ago
to kick a drug habit and improve her self-esteem through its women's
support group. Now, Roberts is supervisor for substance abuse services
at the organization that helped her get back on her feet.
Roberts is married with three children, and a fourth is on the way.
She will complete her bachelor's degree in psychology in 2007 when
the new baby is old enough for day care. She plans to pursue her master's
degree in social work at SFSU and become a licensed clinical social
Why did you choose to attend SFSU?
I was really interested just because of my own life history. I wanted
to be able to give back to families that I work with, but I want
to be able to have my degree as well.
Who are your heroes?
My parents just because they instilled values about education within
us and how important it is, no matter what type of pitfalls you have
in life, no matter what roadblocks you've been up against. ... And
then my children just because that's who I work for every day!
What are your long-term goals?
I'd really like to work with low-income families, to provide therapy
to them, because there aren't a lot of people of color in the therapy
field. Not a lot of African-American, not a lot of Latino therapists,
so I would hope that we could start to make those numbers rise.
What are your passions?
My passion is learning, actually. I love to learn, I love to acquire
new information, and I love to read. Because other than that I think
I'm boring! No, I love to dance.
What inspires you?
The families that I work with inspire me to keep going. Their situations
help me to want to keep fighting for them and helping them out.
Where on campus, outside of class, are you most likely to be found?
In the parking garage going home to my kids! If it's not just going
to classes, then I'm on my way home. I'm not hanging out. I'll use
the Library sometimes, but I'm pretty much on my way home.
What is your favorite off-campus hangout?
At home with the children. … Other than that, maybe every other
weekend or once a month I'll go out and dance, and that's over in Jack
Name a guilty pleasure of yours.
Oh, wow. Chocolate chip cookies. Seriously! I will eat a bag of chocolate
chip cookies and not even eat dinner. It's bad!
Just dancing. I love music and dancing. ... It makes me feel free,
it helps me to release negative energy, and it helps me to be in
What person, dead or living, would you most like to meet?
Probably my father's father. ... I never knew who he was, and I heard
a lot about him. ... He was from Mobile, Ala. I heard a lot of good
things, and I heard that my oldest son looks just like him.
Education is the key to success. ... It's so true.
What is guaranteed to bring a smile to your day?
Someone smiling back. ... Being in a person's presence who's warm and
you can tell that they have a good nature about themselves. It just
helps you keep going.
-- Student Writer Lisa Rau with Matt Itelson