Grad Stories (2017)
Luis Enrique Velazco Miranda was born in Durango, Mexico. He moved to the US with his family at the age of five. He recalls enrolling in elementary school and failing first grade because he did not speak English.
He learned the language and later attended Centennial High School where he took honors and AP classes.
“I felt like I did not belong in these classes. Everyone would look at me strange because I did not fit the honors look.”
Velazco Miranda remembers one of his teachers surprisingly telling him that he was smart, didn’t look like it, but he was smart. That gave him motivation to continue his education.
He applied to four universities, but was not accepted. He decided to enroll at Norco College not knowing that his life goals would go through a series of changes. He was a first-generation college student and became part of the PUENTE program, joined ASNC and eventually became vice president of student campus and organizations.
“My education at Norco College is valuable. It is the foundation of who I am today. My impossibilities became possibilities at this campus and I will forever be grateful.”
Just when he thought everything was coming together, Velazco Miranda hit a slump his second year of college. He became disengaged and dropped out for three months. It was his time to reflect and figure out his next step. He came back to college full force and became the RCCD student trustee. He also changed his math major to history because he realized he was intrigued by pre-colonial and Civil War history.
“I took a French class and then had an epiphany of a career in history. I spoke to Professor Hitchcock and she encouraged me to follow my heart.”
On June 8, 2017, Velazco Miranda graduated with three associate degrees and will transfer to Humboldt State University. He plans on becoming a high school history teacher in the areas of Rubidoux or Mira Loma.
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