2024 Graduate Reflects on the Pandemic, a Pivot and Paralegal Aspirations


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Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Danya Delgadillo in graduation cap and gown with text: Congratulations Rio Salado College Class of 2024
Danya Delgadillo in a blue blazer sitting in front of desert plants.

By Mira Radovich, Senior Contributing Writer

Like many affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Danya Delgadillo had to pivot her life plans in 2020.

“I started my education journey at Glendale Community College in 2019,” Delgadillo said. “I was pursuing a degree in early childhood education. Like many of us, I was affected by the pandemic, and for personal reasons, I had to abandon my dream.”

Two years later, the time was right for Delgadillo to resume her education. This time she enrolled at Rio Salado College, and changed her focus to paralegal studies.

“I chose Rio Salado because they have an excellent online paralegal program,” Delgadillo said. “I transitioned my degree to obtain the knowledge and experience needed to keep pursuing my dream of going to law school.”

Changing her program of study caused Delgadillo some apprehension initially.

“I decided to make the switch after I already completed credits for the other program,” Delgadillo said. “But my advisor was there to guide me, and make sure I would take advantage of the classes I had previously taken.”

Online classes were essential for Delgadillo, who works full-time and had to fit her education around her job.

“I was working 40 plus hours a week and at the same time I was a full-time student,” Delgadillo said. “With Rio, I could complete my classes at my own pace while working on my own schedule.”

She found that organization was the key to her online success.

“Doing school online can be difficult at times as we go over all material and meet deadlines by ourselves,” she said. “Creating my own homework tracker every week helped me to organize my priorities to make sure all my deadlines were met on time.”

Delgadillo said her paralegal classes have already made an impact on her future career.

“My classes have given me experience in the different legal areas such as immigration, business, family law, and others,” she said. “My favorite class was Paralegal and Immigration because the curriculum covered many aspects such as creating case briefs, legal research and filing legal documents.”

Now that she has completed her Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal, Delgadillo is planning the next stop on her education journey.

“My next steps are to complete a bachelor’s degree, take the LSAT, and apply to law school,” Delgadillo said. “Being a student at the Maricopa Community Colleges has opened many doors for my future and has provided me with the tools and knowledge to keep pursuing my dream of becoming an attorney.”

Delgadillo hopes other students thinking about online learning will consider the benefits of Rio Salado.

“I would recommend Rio to anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge and complete a degree or a certificate,” she said. “Rio offers several programs for all the community in different areas of expertise. Plus, you can’t beat the ability to work and do school on your own schedule.”