Grad Stories (2013)
Graciela Arzola first stepped onto the Norco College campus 10 years after graduating from high school. Her children encouraged her to go to college and the Puente program with its “Yes, you can” motto sustained her and helped her overcome the self-doubt that haunted her. “Once I got into the Puente program, I had professors telling me that I could make my dreams come true,” said Graciela, a single parent whose rheumatoid arthritis causes severe chronic pain and limits the mobility in one of her hands. “They taught me how to take the ‘ifs’ out of my life. It’s ‘when’, not ‘if’.” Graciela will graduate this week with AA degrees in Social Behavioral Studies, Humanities, and Communication Studies. She has been accepted into the competitive Social Work program at Cal State San Bernardino. She hopes to draw from her own personal experiences to help others. Ultimately, she would like to start her own non-profit organization to help teenage mothers who are victims of domestic violence and she dreams of opening a safe house for homeless teenage mothers.
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