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Military Families.com featured Pace University 2019 graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "Pace University alumna named Student Veteran of the Year"

08/19/2020

Military Families.com featured Pace University 2019 graduate Bonita Rodriguez in "Pace University alumna named Student Veteran of the Year"

Bonita Rodriguez, a 2019 graduate of Pace University, received the organization’s award because of her dedication to helping other student veterans in their transition. SVA is a coalition of student-veteran groups on college campuses across the globe, with 1,500+ chapters representing 750,000+ student veterans.

Rodriguez was working as an administration specialist in the Marine Corps when she decided to pursue college. But her reasons for this pursuit went beyond bettering herself. As a child she saw her parents, Mexican immigrants, work hard with little to show for it.

“They didn’t have many opportunities and seeing them work their butts off gave me the motivation to want to do more and show them what their hard work has provided for me,” she said.

As the first in her family to go to college, Rodriguez says she wanted to set an example.

“I have younger siblings and I want them to know there’s more out there in the world, and as long as you keep pushing yourself there are no limits.”

But the gap in school after completing high school left her feeling intimidated. Rodriguez, however, received an unexpected push from her master gunnery sergeant. He took time with her to make sure she researched information and would be set to reach higher when she left the military.

“He basically forced me to look up colleges and took his time to help Marines transition from active duty. To see someone so high up make time in their day to check on me and make sure I have a plan was really inspiring,” Rodriguez said.

So, she began her hunt.

Last year, Rodriguez graduated from Pace University with a degree in Information Technology. The process wasn’t easy but it was the intentionality of the military supportive programs the school offered that helped her process.

Read the full Military Families.com article.