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Student leaves poverty behind, charts new path: Edy Molina

Edy Molina

Edy Molina, ECC student

Edy Molina has lived a life filled with poverty, alcohol addiction, and uncertainty. 

The 33-year-old Elgin resident grew up in Ecuador where his parents struggled financially due to illiteracy, lack of education, and addictions. At age 6, he started shining shoes to help support his family. He started drinking alcohol at 12. And by 16, he was a full-blown alcoholic, just like his father. 

Although he became an honor student in high school, he had to drop out to support himself. He eventually earned his GED and enrolled in Union County College in Elizabeth, New Jersey but had to drop out again because of finances. 

It took years for Molina to discover a path that would change the course of his life. Getting clean was one step. Becoming a Christian was another. And going back to school yet another. It wasn't easy, but he was willing to do whatever it took to be a role model for his daughter. 

In 2011, he moved to Illinois and enrolled at Elgin Community College. Thankfully, he said, ECC and the Foundation became part of that plan. 

"If it wasn't for this organization, I would be burying my dreams somewhere in the land of failure and regret," he said. 

Molina plans to graduate with an Associate in Arts degree in December 2015. He wants to become a civil engineer. He currently owns a small construction company that serves the Fox Valley. He also volunteers as a mentor and soccer coach to underprivileged children in Elgin. 

"I am beginning to leave behind poverty and illiteracy to paint a new legacy for my family," Molina said. 


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