Veteran Student Aims to Help Migrant Workers


Some text as placeholder. In real life you can have the elements you have chosen. Like, text, images, lists, etc.
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Veteran Student Aims to Help Migrant Workers

Shirina Grimaldi is a veteran who worked as a legal administrative clerk for three years in the U.S. Marines in North Carolina. With dreams of working for a nonprofit organization that assists migrant farmers, Grimaldi began pursuing her educational options.

As she researched online colleges that would fit her schedule and fulfill her general education requirements, Grimaldi stumbled upon Rio Salado College. With big plans to go to a four-year university, she is confident that she made the right choice.

Learning from home is often a new challenge for some students. With Rio Salado’s 40+ years of providing distance education, the school had the tools available to assist Grimaldi on her path.

“It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be because I telework as well,” Grimaldi said. “It hasn’t been much of an adjustment.”

As she continues to balance her study time and appointments for service-related disabilities, she remains hopeful and is appreciative of Rio’ Salado’s flexibility. She said she especially appreciates the approachability of the instructors and advisors.

Grimaldi wants to encourage other military vets to pursue their passions.

“Use your educational benefits,” Grimaldi said. “Make the right decision for yourself at the right time for yourself. If going to college to get a law degree is your passion, then do it. But make sure you do it in your own time, on your own terms.”

She added, “Don’t forget that you have experiences that most people in college have never had. You have a lot to offer because of that experience. Do not give up.”

Now pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Global Health and Spanish, Grimaldi is looking to the future with a new sense of purpose.

“As a former foster kid, homeless kid, and former Marine, and as an Alaska Native/Athabascan Indian, I am so happy to be at Rio to begin another journey and look forward to learning even more!” Grimaldi said.

With multiple start dates and a dedicated Military Advisement Team, Rio Salado is primed to aid in student success. Rio Salado provides a variety of certificate and degree programs to assist veterans with career/educational goals and preparation for university transfer.


Contributed by Damarius Standifer, Public Relations Intern