Grad Stories (2016)
Veteran Spotlight (2016)
Mauricio Ruiz decided to serve in the Marine Corps for 10 years before deciding to give college another try.
Ruiz, a child of immigrant parents, was always encouraged to pursue his education after high school, but college tuition was an obstacle and when his grades suffered, he decided to drop out.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for a decade and his life changed from then on.
“After a successful career in the Marine Corps my circumstances changed and I realized that this job was no longer what I needed. I had gotten married and my wife was expecting our first child. I knew it would be a difficult transition for them, so I decided to finish my contract and attempt college one more time,” said Ruiz.
Taking this leap of faith changed his financial situation and his wife went from being a stay-at-home mom to working 45 minutes away from home to stay afloat with finances. His family remained supportive and helped take care of their son.
“I realized that simply having a job would not be sufficient enough for me or my family. I needed a career and the only way this was achievable was to get a college degree.”
Ruiz works two jobs at times while being a full-time student. His motivation to finish what he started 14 years ago is much stronger and he will not give up until he is done.
He is on the path to receive his associate of arts in Psychology and Sociology from Norco College. He would like to transfer to Cal State Fullerton to pursue a baccalaureate degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Services to better assist military members. Currently, Ruiz holds a 3.8 GPA and is president of the Norco College Veterans Club and works in the Veterans Services Center on campus.
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