Santos Gutierrez knows a thing or two about college prep and success having worked at Lansing Community College as a high school recruiter, multicultural recruiter, customer relationship specialist and student success coach. Each position has helped him gain a deeper view into how to truly help students navigate college but no other experience has been as helpful as his very own second chance story. Above, Gutierrez, president of Alsame (Advocates of Latino Student Achievement of Michigan Education), speaks at Alsame's High School Conference at Signaw Valley State University.
By: Santos Gutierrez
I remember loading up the truck in the morning with a new type of excitement I hadn't felt before. I was the first in my family of five siblings to be accepted to go to college. I picked up my brother from work and we drove an hour and half to my new home, a dorm room on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. We moved my stuff inside and with a goodbye hug my brother drove off. Coming from a middle class family in Michigan, you'd think this was a typical scenario. But it wasn't. Not for me. I didn't have anyone to show me the ropes. Actually, looking back, I didn't know what I was doing. Fortunately, a seed was planted back then and thanks to the power of a second chance, I'm reaping the harvest on it and helping others.
Gutierrez celebrates graduating from Siena Hieghts University with a Bachelor's in Professional Communications wearing the Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. regalia. The Fraternity stoll is used to show the representation of the fraternal brotherhood membership.
What I have learned through my journey is the value of an education and the importance of graduating. By receiving my degrees, I have found my purpose in life. College can be a very complicated process to understand at first, but once you understand how the higher education system works, it can be very powerful ... and we can all use it to our advantage.
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