Josefa speaking at FRCC's Boulder County Campus graduation ceremony

Someone said that everybody deserves a second chance—and I got mine from Front Range.”

As we celebrate our graduates this spring, we hear a lot of powerful stories about their experienceboth in college and in life. More often than not, they’re stories of overcoming significant obstacles to reach their dreams.

We get to hear from some of these students during our graduations ceremonies. We called them our “Voices.” This week, we’ll be sharing several of their speeches with you here.

We hope you learn something worthwhile from each our our student voices.

Josefa Leon GonzalezAssociate of Applied Science in Accounting







I never thought that, after so many years, I would add to the list “college graduate.”

My name is Josefa Leon Gonzalez, and I am about to receive my associate of applied science degree in accounting—and a bookkeeping certificate.

After 30 years of working for the same company, I lost my job. My first thought was: What am I going to do?

I used to spend hours sitting in front of the television thinking that I was too old to start all over. Running away from depression, I tried many ways to fight it—and nothing worked.

One day I saw an ad offering GED classes. I told my daughter that I wanted to try. (Later I changed my mind, but she enrolled me anyway. 😊) I finished the classes, and I got my diploma.

My daughter talked to me and said “Mom, you should go to college. I can see the way school is helping you.

My reaction? A panic attack.

When I was growing up in Mexico, I never had the chance for a higher education. I was the oldest of five, so I had to quit school to help my parents to support the family. But for many years I believed that if I had the chance I would succeed, but later I lost my confidence.

I was curious to see if I could keep going, so I decided to enroll at FRCC. The first day I was ready to quit, but one of my instructors would not let me.

Also, I was afraid that my age would be a problem. At Front Range Community College, I never felt discriminated against because of race, gender or age.

I enjoyed every student activity and made good friends (everybody younger than me). I was awarded with a work study assignment that I performed at the Welcome Center. I was a student of the Latinx Excellence Achievement & Development Scholars program (LEADS), and participated in the Trio SSS community. I took advantage of resources like the Student Success Center, Tutoring and Writing Center—and I loved the lunches with the Dean.

Someone said that everybody deserves a second chance, and I got mine from Front Range. I am so grateful to everybody who helped me, in one way or another, to fulfill my dreams.

My name is Josefa Leon Gonzalez.







And now… college graduate.           

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