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Student Success at RSC Thomas

Our students come from all walks of life, and have many personal stories to tell. Here are a few of the stories from students at Rio Salado College Avondale. These stories are inspiring, just like the students themselves, and showcase how people can use education to open doors to a better future.

Nikole Cruz 

Nikole Cruz

Nikole Cruz became a mother at a young age. She dropped out of school to support her family, moving to Arizona from California in 1995. Despite not having a high school diploma, Nikole was fortunate enough to obtain employment. She worked hard and attempted to earn her GED many times over the years, while working full-time as a single mother.

Then Nikole got married, and moved to Texas while her husband was deployed to Iraq. After helping her two eldest children graduate high school, Nikole found herself back in Arizona to help support her two youngest children. She thought it would be easy to find a job. “Even with the amount of experience I had, no one would hire me because I did not have a high school diploma or GED,” said Nikole.

She enrolled in GED prep classes at Rio Salado College Thomas, where she also works in a support role. “I’m very proud to be a part of this program and support all students as we make this journey together!”

Cynthia Barragan 

Cynthia Barragan

Cynthia is a native of Phoenix, and a single mother to four children. Transitioning from middle school to high school was a confusing time in Cynthia’s life. She was put into special classes for the learning disabled. Overwhelmed, she dropped out of school without graduating. She married and divorced young, all the while working two jobs to meet the needs of her family.

After being overlooked for promotion twice at work due to her lack of education, Cynthia enrolled in classes at Rio Salado College Thomas. When her life was challenged, she fought for it and prevailed. She is looking to start her own non-profit to aid those in need, and to sharing her new motto: “I love my life!”

Alejandro Chavez 

Alejandro Chavez

Alejandro is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied medicine, attended veterinary school and practiced homeopathic medicine. He moved to the United States eight years ago, and became an avid activist for the Hispanic population. Alejandro has a wife and three children. After working for the U.S. Census in 2010, he decided to enroll in English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) classes at Rio Salado College Thomas. By obtaining a more proficient understanding of the English language, Alejandro hopes to continue educating and helping others in the field of medicine.

Robert Box

 

Robert Box

Robert was 14 when he dropped out of high school. At the time, he did not know what effect this decision would have on his life. He quickly fell in with the wrong crowd and overlooked the cause and effect of his actions. Eventually he began working fulltime and put school on the back burner.

Robert married his wife 9 years ago. They now have two beautiful children. Robert’s wife enrolled in a college nursing program and urged him to go back to school to get his GED. He completed GED prep classes at Rio Salado College Thomas, and began the Adults Achieving a College Education (AACE) program. Robert sums up his experience by quoting an old English proverb: “If there is a will, there is a way.”

Arturo Diaz-Tena

 

Arturo Diaz-Tena

Arturo came to the United States from Mexico, where he worked at the Mexican consulate in Mexicali. He attended a notable university in Mexico, and studied business. He worked as a banker and accountant for 25 years, and had two children. Now retired, Arturo decided to continue his education by improving his English skills. He enrolled in English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) classes at Rio Salado College Thomas. He focuses his time on consulting for a company that creates homeopathic products.

Arturo says learning English will allow him to finally break down the communication barriers that he has faced for so long. He aspires to help others discover natural remedies that can enrich and better their lives.

Margarita Real

 

Margarita Real

Margarita Real moved from Mexico to California where she worked several odd jobs for income. She had a hard time communicating with her supervisors and quickly realized that not being able to speak or understand English was a huge disadvantage.

After moving to Arizona, Margarita worked two jobs to support her family. Her eldest child graduated high school and enrolled in a culinary program, providing Margarita with the spark to change her life. She enrolled in English Language Acquisition for Adults (ELAA) classes at Rio Salado College Thomas. She enjoys the learning experience and knows that once her language barrier becomes obsolete, the sky is the limit!