Norphesa Jones rises before dawn twice a week to take a 6 a.m. physical education class at Southwest College, just blocks from her home in South Los Angeles.
She then takes a bus to the Green Line, catches the train and another bus to Los Angeles Trade Tech downtown for an 8:30 a.m. math class. Jones then backtracks to Southwest for a personal development class that begins at 11:10 a.m.
Shuttling 20 miles between campuses isn't by choice: The math class she needed wasn't offered at Southwest.
"There have been times when I've sat in the room before class and cried, ready to quit because I don't want to do this anymore," said Jones, a 34-year-old wife and mother of three who hopes to become a nurse. "But then I think, why stop now because another way seems like it may be easier."