Patricia Marie Luna received her bachelor of science degree in criminal justice as a member of Penn State Harrisburg’s Class of 2020. The 53 year-old said she was so proud to share her story, adding, “If I can do it, anyone can.”
Here she discusses how she persevered to achieve her goal:
“Since I was 14 years old I had a dream to go to college. I had always loved school. However, due to a very difficult home life, I dropped out of school in 7th grade. I finally got my GED when I was 24 years old. I had mentors who encouraged me to go to community college. I was terrified because I thought I was not smart enough.”
Luna said she worked full time and went to school full time and eventually got her associate’s degree with honors. “I still had the dream of getting my bachelor's, but fear held me back,” she added. “I am so proud to say I finally finished my studies. It was a very long journey but I was determined.”
Luna, who is from California, is also a disabled student who attended Penn State World Campus. “I will forever treasure my educational experiences with World Campus,” she said. “I was ready to attend the graduation ceremony and walk the stage to receive my degree in a cap and gown. I hope the Class of 2020 will be able to have graduation so I can fulfill the final step of my dream.”
Luna plans to work as a victim advocate.