Hannah Renew

For decades, higher education has helped people uncover hidden talents, start bold ventures, and realize their dreams. But, for Hannah Review, the road to getting there was anything but conventional.


By the time she turned 18, Renew had dropped out of community college twice. She then chose to attend beauty school at 21 and moved to San Diego two years later. Despite the gap in her academic career, Renew chose to enroll in courses at Cuyamaca College when she was 35.


“Coming back to school was intimidating. Back when I was a student, computers weren’t commonplace,” she said. “However, once the pandemic hit, I found that remote lessons actually ended up working for my learning style.”


Renew found that she was able to concentrate on her studies without figuring out how to navigate the social structure of classroom.


Now, she’s 37 and already has solid plans for the future. Renew is set to earn her associate degree in 2023, then attend SDSU, obtain an LCSW license, and finally, get a master’s degree in social work.


Why Cuyamaca Stood Out


In addition to the convenient location, Renew ultimately selected Cuyamaca because she knew she’d receive the well-rounded education she needed to succeed. “I love the instructors here. They don’t just teach things in a black-and-white way. They discuss the social justice aspect of each topic and reveal where the main areas of inequality exist” she said.


Renew’s mother, who passed away in 2011 of breast cancer, was a strong mental healthcare advocate. Since she worked tirelessly to ensure her mother was in the best care, the idea of becoming a healthcare social worker started to seem like the right career path. “I wanted to play a role in helping people receive the support they needed after diagnosis.”


Finding Her Passion through Volunteering


Aside from being a student and mother, Renew also devotes much of her time outside of the classroom to volunteering.


With food insecurity affecting thousands of families across San Diego county during the early days of the pandemic, Renew would often partner with local non-profits We All We Got SD and Lasagna Love to cook dinners and distribute them to those in need.