It would have been easy for Kaylee Brown to give up on her dream of becoming a lawyer.
But the former Ceres High School multi-sport athlete doesn’t want to let her loved ones down.
She’s also not a quitter.
“I had a lot of stops in my path,” said Brown, 30. “I probably should already be a lawyer. I hope what I’m doing will be a motivating factor for my daughter Myla (3). I want her to know she can pursue her dreams and accomplish her goals.”
Brown is currently attending Humphreys University-Drivon School of Law in Stockton.
“There are other schools I can go to,” she said. “The reason I chose that one was so I could commute and keep a job I really enjoy doing. When I first started working for the Center for Human Services, it opened my eyes to things people need help with. We don’t provide any legal services. I’m hoping when I finish my law degree, the Center will have an assistance program. I talked to my boss about it.”
On top of being a mother, Brown works full-time as program manager for Ceres Partnership-Center for Human Services.
The nonprofit organization provides assistance to youth and families in Stanislaus County through prevention, education, intervention, shelter, counseling, and treatment services.
“I was in Oakdale when the job opportunity came up in Ceres less than a year ago,” Brown said. “I wanted to work there and help out in the community I grew up in most of my life. I oversee all the different programs and make sure we meet the requirements. It’s open to anybody. It sounds cliché. But when you hear stories of people you’re working with, it’s really impactful. It’s cool to see the difference we’re making.”
Brown served as program coordinator for the Center’s Oakdale Workforce Development Office for six years.
She helped people find jobs.
“I started as an office assistant at the main office in Modesto in 2010,” Brown said. “It was a basic-entry level position. I made copies and ordered office supplies. I did that for two years. I left and finished my degree at UC Davis. I came back and had a different role.”
Brown’s class schedule at Humphreys-Drivon School of Law has changed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
She was attending night school three times a week.
“Normally it’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.,” she said. “We’re doing Zoom classes online now. We’ll probably go back to the normal schedule this summer. It’s a three-and-a-half-year program. I’m hopeful I’ll be done by June 2023. I think it’s doable. That’s my plan.”
When she’s not working or at school, Brown spends as much time as she can with Myla.
“She loves to read and do art things,” she said. “Her dad (Felipe Arellano) and I are still together. I’m really appreciative of his and my mom’s (Robyn) support. I love going to my job and law school classes. This is what I’m supposed to do. It’s still hard being away from my daughter. I struggle with it, the guilt. But I know I’m doing the right thing. It’s not only for me.”
Brown earned a Political Science degree from UC Davis in 2014.
“I’m used to long days because of that experience,” she said. “I commuted there for the last two years. That was not fun.”
Brown graduated from Ceres High School in 2008.
She earned five varsity letters, including three in volleyball and two in basketball.