A 46-year-old former convicted criminal is setting her goal toward social work after completing her undergraduate studies at California State University Sacramento.

Kendra Jackson of Sacramento’s Meadowview neighborhood said she grew up as a poor black girl in foster care.

After aging out of the foster care system, she said she was hanging around in the wrong circles for years. Her life changed in 2009 when she was convicted of conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs.

But it was the one year in federal prison that she overcame her alcohol abuse and through social workers, learned she needed to turn her life around.

Eight years later, she is graduating with a degree in social work with a minor in sociology. She has plans to go on to get her doctorate.