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What's Your Story?

Stories From Riverside



“My super power would be healing. I would love to have the ability to heal those suffering from cancer. In a matter of 2 years, I watched 4 people very close to me not only suffer from the disease, but I also watched them as they struggled to fight for their lives. In the long run, they lost the battle. My SHERO is my mother. My mother is the strongest woman I know! She has lived through rape, abandonment, being a single mother, financial hardships, and much more. Yet through it all, she always maintained a smile on her face and a positive attitude about life. She is the person that will convince you that no matter the situation, your glass is always half full instead of half empty. I absolutely admire her for her strength and wish to one day be half as strong a woman as she is.”

- Juana M.

Medical Billing & Insurance Coding



“[I felt lucky] On December 17th 2018! Before this date, I was hopelessly depressed, suffering from PTSD for 3 years after watching my Grandfather pass away before my eyes on the hospital bed. I was very close to him, more so than my own father and he taught me many lessons in life. I fell off the deep end turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I started failing at work and at home with my wife and kids who’d never seen me this way. My addiction over the 3 years removed those I loved most from my life. I found an old friend on Facebook and reached out, he immediately came to take me from Los Angeles County all the way to Downtown Riverside. That was my lucky day! Little did I know my friend was a recovering addict and that after many years I still had friends who actually had my best interests at heart! Little did I know that my high school friends also own 3 sober living homes in Riverside and allowed me to recover my life. I had the support I needed to start a new life. I slowly started regaining my life and I was able to take care of myself. I got a job after 30 days living rent free! I was honored to be able to pay rent now. In 6 months, I envision myself working with fellow students in advanced stages of HVAC, who have jobs in the field and will take me on as an employee. I also envision myself as a Certified HVAC technician in the workforce and helping the community at large! I envision my family back in my life, and a better life.”

- Jason S.



“I felt lucky when I was able to go home to my family after 2 years. At 15 years old, I made bad decisions and became friends with bad influences. I was going down the wrong path for a while. I ended up getting into trouble with the law and was mandated by court to be sent to a foster home for a while. During the time I spent in the foster home, I was able to work on myself and get help. When I came back home, I was excited and appreciative of being with my friends and family. In the next 6-12 months, I envision myself graduating from UEI and being a better person than I was a year ago. Also, I’m looking forward to being able to provide for my family and grow to become a role model for my siblings and nieces. I am excited to pursue a career and prove to people that anyone is capable of changing for the better. "

- Itzel G.

Medical Assistant


“What makes me #ueiproud is that I get to be a part of events and engage with others at school. Being involved in school lets me experience a college life I never knew I could have. The students are friendly and outgoing which enhances my college experience. Being able to go to school where judgements and prejudices are not common is one of the best feelings in the world. I can also go to teachers and any staff member to receive help for anything. All the teachers and students make me #ueiproud.”

- Raquel A.

Criminal Justice


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