Due to lack of support and financial difficulties, Jose Gonzalez could not continue his education beyond junior high school and instead became a boxer in Guadalajara, Mexico. He came to the United States in his early twenties. Gonzalez adjusted from city life to working tirelessly on a farm in Southern California. He got married and had two daughters, but when Gonzalez lost family members in Mexico and went through a divorce, he turned to drugs and later learned that he was fatally ill. At that point, Gonzalez was determined to turn his life around for both himself and his daughters. He changed his habits, started exercising, and found purpose at church. As he was encouraging his daughters to go to college, they motivated him to go back to school too and earn his high school diploma at age 45. From the start, NOCE Counselor Patty Lujan made Gonzalez feel like he was in the right place and that he could achieve his goal. Lujan provided the exact support Gonzalez needed and truly guided him through his educational journey. Because of this and a lot of hard work, Gonzalez graduated with his high school diploma in May 2017. He is now taking college courses and plans to go into the medical field.

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