Skip Main Navigation

Grad Story: Returning Student Overcomes Adversity to Graduate


After high school, in 1985, Rosalinda Gutierrez began her collegiate journey at Cal State Bakersfield. She soon married and then had children, delaying her academic goals.  

Life continued and she and her husband raised their children. Then she lost her husband to cancer in 2012. The San Jacinto resident continued raising her 14-year-old daughter – this time as a single mother. 

After her daughter Marina graduated from San Jacinto Valley Academy, she chose to attend Mt. San Jacinto College, graduated, and transferred to LaVerne University.  Due to the pandemic, in March 2020, she came home and finished her studies remotely.

“As I saw her classes transition to remote learning, my daughter Marina was the one to convince me it was my turn to finish my college goals,” Gutierrez said. 

The past two years have challenged her, including losing her father and sister-in-law. 

Rosalinda Gutierrez with her daugher Marina

“With the continual support of my daughter, the advisors at MSJC, and the support of my professors, I can happily say I am now an MSJC alumna. I chose to rise to the challenge, learned to fly, and became UNSTOPPABLE! Go Eagles.”  

Gutierrez is earning an associate degree in Communication Studies and Liberal Arts. She now plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Communications.