Eddie entered GCC out of high school where he was an “at risk” student. Admittedly, he was unfocused and distracted. He failed many classes, and was dismissed five times. He finally became interested in real estate, returning to GCC to earn a certificate in that program and spent the next six years working mostly with foreclosures and then switching to commercial real estate. He finally realized that without a college degree, he had reached a ceiling in his career. He returned to GCC in ’01, retaking all the courses he had previously failed. This time, with the dedication to succeed, he started earning A’s. With the encouragement of GCC counselor Kevin Meza, Eddie was asked to serve as president of the newly reorganized OLHE (Organization of Latinos for Higher Education) on campus. He is responsible for establishing a “buddy” program for high school kids, as well as outreach for “at risk” youths. His hope was to provide mentorship for other students that he unfortunately lacked years earlier.
Eddie completed his A.A. at GCC, juggling raising a family, working, and pulling a full academic load. He transferred to USC in Fall ’03, entering a 3-year program to earn his B.A. and Masters in Policy and Planning. He still works with real estate in his “spare” time. His future plans are to work in the private sector, possibly consulting for best use and economic redevelopment projects. Eddie says that it took him 12 years to become focused, and considers himself fortunate that GCC kept the (revolving) door open for him.