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Interview: Overcoming Obstacles On The Path To Graduation

Karen Rubio works for Truckee Meadows Community College, helping recruit high school students to the school. She's a first-generation college grad who started at TMCC before transferring to UNR.

While in school at age 20, Karen became pregnant. Then, during the pregnancy, her mother died unexpectedly.

“At that point, it was the first time I said, ‘I’m just going to give up.’ I was like, ‘What am I trying to do? I’m eight months pregnant.’ I was going through a lot,” she remembers.

Despite the obstacles, Karen kept going and earned a bachelor's degree in business. Karen shared her inspiring story with Yuli Chavez, her boss and mentor at TMCC.

“In the back of my mind, I always knew my mom wanted me to finish. My mom was such an inspiration to me; I want to be the same thing for my daughter. She has no excuse not to go to college at this point,” Karen says.

Yuli and Karen both work for the Access, Outreach and Recruitment Department at TMCC.

Listen to the extended version of the conversation between Karen and Yuli.

This segment was inspired by the national oral history program StoryCorps.

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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