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Belinda E Matuska

Published October 4, 2018

My Path to CSULB

When I was 18 – 24 years I was in the United States Coast Guard. This was a life-changing experience and opened my eyes to other cultures. It was exciting being a radioman in the Coast Guard and now I am a veteran. After the service, I began a family with my husband, David. We have been married for 21 years and still going strong! While my children were in school, I took a few classes each semester and realized that I was the only person holding me back from continuing in my education.

In one of my classes, I met a girl who was from Korea and English was her second language. She sometimes struggled understanding the teacher, but I admired her determination to be in school. She was a great encouragement to me. I became more determined not to allow my age to keep me from earning degree. I earned my AA degree in Child Development from Cerritos Community College and transferred to CSULB.

Life after The Beach. What is next after school?

I genuinely enjoy working with children and families and would like to further my education by earning a master’s degree in Social Work. While I am in the master’s program, I plan on continuing to work at CC’s Learning Center. I have been an infant teacher there for four years and have learned so much about caring for infants. It is special bonding with the babies and being able to see them reach each milestone. I enjoy building relationships with the parents and being a part of their lives.

Why did you get involved with the myBeach program and Alumni?

This is my last year and I have worked hard to get to this place. I appreciate the support I have received from my family, my church, and the administration at Cal State Long Beach.

My experience here has been uplifting and positive. I want to be an example to other older adults who may think that it’s too late to get a degree. It is never too late to keep learning and give back to your community.

What does it mean for you to give back and donate through the BPT?

Giving back is part of the cycle of how we all are interconnected. Generous students who have gone before me have helped make this a great school and now I want to be able to give back for others.