A 38 year-old Mother of 3 children named Emma Lopez Ruano has defied all odds and challenges to bag a degree at Mount San Antonio College, United States.
Emma Ruano graduated from Mount San Antonio College with an associate degree in alcohol and drug counseling. She said in an interview with ABC that she battled with homelessness and drug addiction.
She said years ago, the achievement seemed impossible for her because of her struggles with her three children who are all teenagers. Emma wore a graduation cap with the inscription “The message is hope. The promise is freedom.”
“I didn’t think graduating college was even possible for me anymore. I have three kids who are all teenagers. My oldest is graduating high school this year, so this was something that I didn’t think I could even do,” she said.
Emma said she made so many bad decisions in her 20s which affected her life. “In my 20s, I started doing drugs and I started doing really bad, making really bad choices,” she said.
”I kept trying to be clean and I just wasn’t able to. I wasn’t able to get a hold of my life and I couldn’t get control back and I ended up homeless. I couldn’t manage my life anymore,” she added.
She said she did not see herself graduating from college as she had just planned to just earn a vocational certificate but she is glad to have persevered. “I didn’t think I was going to graduate. I just wanted to go for a vocational certificate. And it just evolved little by little,” she said.
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Emma credited the counselors at Mount San Antonio College who assisted her in making a decision and encouraged her to keep going.