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Mom who struggled with homelessness is now a college graduate: 'The message is hope'

Despite experiencing homelessness and battling drug addiction, she recently achieved a significant milestone by graduating.

Mom who struggled with homelessness is now a college graduate: 'The message is hope'
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Emma Ruano

Despite facing a difficult time, some people try their best to turn their lives around. Emma Lopez Ruano, a remarkable mother of three, serves as a shining example of such resilience. Her story is an inspiration to those who aspire to make positive changes in their own lives. Despite experiencing homelessness and battling drug addiction, Emma has recently achieved a remarkable milestone by graduating from Mount San Antonio College with a degree in alcohol and drug counseling, according to Good Morning America.


At the graduation ceremony, the mom can be seen wearing a maroon robe with a note on her head decorated with flowers. It reads, "The message is hope. The promise is freedom."  Years ago, this seemed impossible for Ruano. "I didn't think graduating college was even possible for me anymore. I have three kids who are all teenagers. My oldest is graduating high school this year, so this was something that I didn't think I could even do," she explained.

Recalling her past life, the mom said, "In my 20s, I started doing drugs and I started doing really bad, making really bad choices. I kept trying to be clean and I just wasn't able to. I wasn't able to get a hold of my life and I couldn't get control back and I ended up homeless. I couldn't manage my life anymore."


For Ruano, the college life she lives today seemed like it would never happen. "I didn't think I was going to graduate. I just wanted to go for a vocational certificate. And it just evolved little by little," she added.

She also spoke about the role of counselors in getting through the course. The mother said, "With the help of counselors here at Mt. SAC, I was finally able to decide, 'Ok, I'm going to keep going and get my associates.'" Ruano has proved that it is possible for people to come out of addiction and dream of a new life. Her children would also feel proud of their mother, who has come so far.


Juggling motherhood with a college degree could also be quite tricky. Another mom, Gladys Lo-Reynolds, pursued her university education while raising a young child. She shared her story in an Instagram video which begins with the text overlay, "I was in my third year of university when I got pregnant." Lo-Reynolds admitted that she initially thought of dropping out but ultimately decided to stick with it. Lo-Reynolds says in the video that she returned to university a month after giving birth. "It was tough juggling being a young mum and studying full-time," reads the text overlay while the video showed a picture of her infant and a laptop. 

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Unfortunately, the child fell sick during her last semester of college. "We spent days and nights with him in the hospital," Lo-Reynolds shared in the overlay text. Photographs show Lo-Reynolds and her partner in the hospital with their son. The determined mom explained that she went to classes from the hospital and used to shower at the university gym. She apparently also finished writing her dissertation next to her child's hospital bed. "After 2.5 years of both my boys' love and encouragement we graduated together. I couldn't have done it without you," she wrote, concluding the video with a picture of her small family on her graduation day.

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