Suriya is about to graduate with a degree in Marketing from Sacramento State. For the past year and a half, while studying operations management and product placement, she lived out of her car.
“I never missed a class,” she said.
“I started eating in here [Wellspring] and at Loaves and Fishes,” she said. “Without you guys, the experience would have been a whole lot worse. I’ve never been homeless before.”
“I know my mom wanted me to graduate more than she wanted to take her next breath,” she said.
Suriya became homeless after her mom died. Her mom had signed the deed of her house over to her brother who refused to let Suriya live in her home because of her sexuality.
“I was in the nursing home with her,” she said. “I was trying to spend every moment that I wasn’t in class with her. I felt her last heartbeat when she died. I told her ‘I’ve got this. Don’t wait around for me. You can go now – I’ll be okay.”
What do you find appealing about marketing?
“It feels like an innate, intuitive ability to me because I like people and I can communicate with a really diverse segment of the population,” she said. “I believe I understand consumerism and consumer behavior.”
What is your favorite meal that you’ve had here?
“The salads – dude these salads are like gourmet salads,” she said. “Sometimes when I eat here, I’m eating like my body is craving those nutrients. If I get enough nutrition, I eat a lot less. It just feels healthier and my body feels happier.”
What does Wellspring mean to you?
“It’s sustaining my health and nutrition.”