“I don’t know where I’d be without my family,” she said. “They’ve been so loving and supportive throughout this whole situation. They were the only ones around when I had no one else. Gonzales enrolled in the AUT program at TSTC and graduated in 2001 with a certificate. She immediately was hired by the Kellog Dealership in San Benito, TX, but was laid off soon after. She then worked as a heavy equipment operator. In 2010, she was laid off again.
The layoffs weighed heavy on Gonzales, but the biggest blow came when her health deteriorated quickly.
She wasn’t working and had no insurance. That’s where her family stepped in, helping her cope with the setbacks. “My brother and his wife urged me to go back to school,” Gonzales said.
“One day I just decided to go back,” she said. I earned all As in the fall and this spring.” Gonzales also serves as the vice president of the AUB Club.
“I’m optimistic now,” she said. “You learn from your mistakes and you learn from your struggles. You can choose to fold or you can choose to keep going.