I had a difficult upbringing, but growing up I did see college in my future because no matter what, I always knew I wanted to be something in life. I knew I never wanted to be a statistic. I wanted to overcome that barrier.
One of the most challenging obstacles was not having a father growing up to show me what a man needed to learn. Also, the resources and type of education I was receiving because of the high poverty area that I lived in.
"I've gotten to where I am through determination and the kindness of others."
Your circumstances don't define who you are.
I transferred my junior year in high school to Chicago Bulls College Prep, and they helped me get where I am today. I was very involved, taking two sports a season (cross country and track) and joining student government. My coach was the one who told me about Ripon.
I've continued to be involved with cross country and track at Ripon. I also founded La Unida, a student organization that promotes Hispanic culture, and co-founded the Multicultural Coalition. Both have been met with strong support on campus.
"Financially, Ripon College was my best option."
I'm studying business with a minor in education, and hope to later earn a master’s degree in business and start a nonprofit to help underprivileged students receive a college education. I want to encourage students struggling the way I did to never give up on their dreams.
College has shown me a way to escape and become anything I want to become. It gave me hope and determination that now I can do anything I want to do.
"Here at Ripon I've never been told 'you can't do this.' When professors hear that I want to do something, they tell me to go for it."
Click here to learn more about how Ripon College helps students like Jorge make the college dream become a reality.