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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Grad Q&A 2021 Flashback

February 3, 2022

Returning to school after the holidays can be tough. This year in particular can present new challenges, whether you’re returning to a virtual, hybrid, or in-person classroom.

Thankfully, there are also plenty of reasons to get excited about coming back and once you begin feeling inspired, it becomes much easier to jump back into learning. And what better way to get motivated to go back to school than hearing from actual college graduates about what motivated them. Here are some of our favorite reasons SJVC graduates shared with us in 2021:


You’re not going to be given everything in life; you’re going to have to earn it. And, if you do the work, put forth the effort. That’s all you have to do.

Kevin Wilson, 2021 Electrical Technology program graduate – Modesto campus


You have to believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who encourage you (as a student). Push through all the tough things that you might come across. No matter what, you will overcome it and the outcome will be great.

Antonio (Tony) Murguia, 2019 Clinical Medical Assisting program graduate – Porterville campus


I feel like my daughters are seeing a better version of me. They’re teenagers and used to seeing the battered-down me. I didn’t want them to see that anymore. Now they see somebody who has accomplished something and who has stood up for what I really believe in. And I stood up for them and the idea that they could do anything too.

Rebecca Van Tassel, 2020 Dental Assisting program graduate – Bakersfield campus


My wife and kids made the sacrifices for years for us to be here (post-education lifestyle). We’re at a place where our children can look up to us and we can be the examples of not giving up.  They see that they can have a career if they work hard for it.

Paul Gallardo, 2020 Criminal Justice: Corrections program graduate – Temecula campus


I was always thinking about my future. I want kids one day and I just really want to be a good role model for them. I want my family happy. I want my parents to be proud of what I accomplished.

Jessika Thompson, 2021 Clinical Medical Assisting program graduate – Modesto campus


My mom, Gloria, never made college an expectation. She never said we have to go to school; she just pushed us to want more out of life. But once we were in school, she wanted to make sure we were the best at what we were doing. Whatever we wanted to do, she would support you.

Rosario Ontiveros, 2020 Business Office Administration program graduate – Atascadero campus


Pushing the envelope has always been my thing. You have to climb out of that bucket to get where you want to go. I’d ask, ‘What do you want from your life?’ Don’t compare yourself to others because their life is different. You can look up to another person, but it’s more just kind of looking within.

Ron Staten, 2021 Pharmacy Technology program graduate – Lancaster campus

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