After experiencing a devastating earthquake that nearly demolished the home their father had
worked so hard for, they moved to Texas to start over. In Texas, Dr. Gonzalez found herself lost and
disconnected in a high school that did not welcome or support a stranger.
When she first enrolled in college she quickly discovered how unprepared she was to succeed
academically. This struggle, along with the rising cost of college, ended her academic career at the onset.
After working a short time, Dr. Gonzalez decided to return to school. She recognized that a degree
garnered respect and dignity and it was her way of thanking her parents for their tremendous sacrifice in
leaving a beloved country to afford their children hope. As a young mother, Dr. Gonzalez completed three
degrees, a BA, MA and Ph.D, exemplifying to her own children that with will and desire all is possible. For
the last 20 years Dr. Gonzalez has reached thousands of students through speaking and mentoring
high school and college students from small local junior colleges to Latino students at Harvard
Alongside she has developed initiatives and models for Latino parents to ensure they understand high
school and college preparation and to internalize the opportunities and outcomes of a college education.
Dr. Gonzalez advocates on educating the entire family to ensure college success of one. Her leadership
of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families has resulted in many efforts to promote education.
Dr. Gonzalez has set the example of finding the way to achieve an education. She has now learned
of opportunities to support students and how students should see education as an investment
that will pay off in the future. HSF was a way to help purchase expensive books used in her Ph.D
preparation. In addition, Dr. Gonzalez saved a small portion to assist with her research by copying
questionnaires and mailing to participants. She was very grateful and used the funds wisely.