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Leticia Ruiz: ECC's support helped me conquer obstacles

Leticia Ruiz

Leticia Ruiz, ECC graduating class of spring 2016

It was obvious that financially, I had to be looking for a Community College outside of my district, because where I reside the colleges did not offer a paralegal program. The smartest choice would be to attend Elgin Community College. I was not prepared to go off to a big university and I knew attending ECC would bring me closer to achieving my dream.

The best years of my life have been at ECC. The knowledge of the teachers has prepared me for any academic challenges in the future. The support and advice from my academic advisor Elizabeth Herrera has helped me in conquering many obstacles in making great and positive choices. I look back at how much I have learned as a student at ECC, and I could not be more thankful for all the support that I have received throughout my years at ECC. However, it wasn't an easy path. As a first generation college student, there were many obstacles I had to overcome. There were times when I felt I wanted to give up, I felt alone and did not know where to go for help. My biggest challenge was during my first semester when I had to do everything by myself, because my children were too young to understand the material. However, I kept a positive attitude. I said to myself, 'It doesn't matter how long it takes you, what matters is that I reach my goal and I succeed.' Getting to the finish line was progressing, little by little, with the help and education that I received at ECC. Being the first in my family to go to college was a mix of emotions, but with the encouragement of my children and grandchildren they were the most important motivators to me in earning my degree.

My advice to current ECC students would be, it's never too late to reach your goal. You're never too old to complete your education if there is a will, there is a way. I can see Elgin Community College was an important stepping stone in my career. Reaching this point in my life was due to the amazing help of many faculty and staff members who welcomed me and were willing to help me achieve my goal. I could not be any more thankful for all their support.      

~Leticia Ruiz, Aurora, IL 


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