Eye on the Prize

by Nyla on May 1, 2013 · 9:16 am

“I want to buy a house, have a nice car and to be stable when I’m older, not live paycheck-to-paycheck,” says Jorge Jimenez, Business Administration student at the Fresno campus. “I don’t want to worry about am I going to eat tomorrow or be able to pay the rent.”

At 21-years old he has figured out a lot. And, he has a plan.

Jorge started working for FedEx 20-22 hours/week just out of high school. He works hard as a package handler and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. “They said they have their eye on me,” says Jorge, “and when I get my degree, I can go anywhere in the company.”

Jorge tried the community college route but, “I couldn’t get all the classes I wanted and it felt like a waste of time,” he says. He decided to double-down with a college experience that would better meet his academic, in-class support and time needs. His BA class’s first-day nerves pushed his commitment deeper. “Ok, I’m here now; there’s no turning back. Even if it’s a struggle, I have to keep going because this will open a door for me in the real world.”

There is no doubt there is a struggle. Jorge works at FedEx 4:00-10:00 AM, Tues.-Sat. and attends classes 5:30-10:30 PM, Mon.-Thrs.  That means he sleeps in 4-hour split shifts, just after he gets off work and again when he gets out of class. His Sundays and half-days on Monday are spent catching up on homework to maintain his 3.25 GPA, and squeezing a little personal time into his life. “At first I had a headache every day,” says Jorge, “but my boss, Luis, at FedEx told me I’d get used to it. And, I did.”

His parents, Jorge and Rosie are helping him get through this difficult time. It would be much harder if he wasn’t living at home. His younger brother, Alex, “is pretty proud of me,” says Jorge. “Alex wrestles, so he’s already looking for a scholarship to go to college too.”

Jorge’s back-burner dream is to open a pastry shop with his cousin, Jasmine. “She tells me, ‘You run it and I’ll just bake,’” he says. His own business would mean a lot to him. “It’s freedom; you set your own rules,” he says.

Jorge’s advice to SJVC students who are also struggling to make it to the successful end of their program: “Don’t quit now. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? It will be worth it in the end.”

Jorge’s is the voice of someone who talks it like he lives it.

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