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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Overwhelmed Student Decides To Stick It Out

February 14, 2013

Administrative Health Care Management Student Maria Moreno and HusbandAt the completion of her first Administrative Health Care Management program module Maria Moreno was strongly considering dropping out. She had failed her mid-term and barely passed her final with a “D”. She hadn’t been a student since graduating from high school 13-years earlier, and the accelerated program and high expectations of her instructor were proving to be just too much.

“I was nervous, overwhelmed and stressed,” says Maria, whose Terminology Part II class left her bewildered. “I had no idea what I was doing and the words were like a different language to me.”

Her lack of academic success forced her to take a hard look at her decision to return to school after such a long absence. She dug in. “I can’t quit like this,” she thought. “This is my future, my career, and I’m not going to let this scare me away.” Instead, she looked at how she could better balance her life as a wife, mother and student. Something was going to have to change, and she needed help from her husband, Felipe, and her six boys, ranging in age from 1-14 years old, to make it work.

Felipe had encouraged Maria to go to college and jumped in to take care of the house and kids – even cooking, while balancing his own business. But their older boys weren’t so sure. “Aren’t you too old for that?” they asked. That did it. Maria was determined to show her children the importance of sacrifice and of finishing what you start. “I want to be an example for my kids,” says Maria. “I want them to say, ‘If my mom can do it, I can do it.’”  No excuses.

Maria gives it everything she’s got. She usually only has an hour of family time each night, then she hits the books until around 2:00 am. Weekends are spent using flash cards and study guides to make sure she is getting all of the material down. She went from a 1.8 GPA to earning As in all her classes.

Her kids are quietly taking notice and have gone from their own feelings of low self-confidence to dreams of a better life they might create. “They are all saying, ‘I want to be this, or do that’”, she says. “One wants to get a Business degree to open his own pawn shop, one wants to work for the FBI, and another wants to be a CHP,” says Maria. Suddenly anything is possible.

Maria isn’t through dreaming either. After she completes the AHCM certificate program, she will go directly into the degree-granting program. She has hopes of starting her own medical billing and coding business one day. No one doubts she will do it.


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