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After motorcycle accident, this CSULB student powered through the pain to graduate

Published May 27, 2021

This is not to toot my own horn, but rather to demonstrate that anything is possible if you put your ALL into your goals and aspirations.

This was the toughest challenge yet. August 2019, I had a motorcycle accident. That same week, I was starting my master’s program. Quitting wasn’t an option.

Jaqueline Cruz holding motarboardInstead, I made phone calls to accommodate my situation. I remember doing papers while in pain after six surgeries, skipping doctor appointments to go to class, having my mom take me to class in a wheelchair, going to the emergency room multiple times because my body was under so much trauma, etc.

I remember having multiple conversations with God and myself. I asked Him every day to give me the patience and mental strength to overcome this situation. Nevertheless, being down showed me to appreciate my mother way more than I already did. That woman made sure I was fed three meals a day, bathed me, assisted me with moving around and everything else her heart had to offer. 

My parents are both Mexican immigrants. They came to this country with nothing but an American Dream. With my dad’s discipline of working long hours and my mom’s willingness to be his backbone, they made it happen. I will be forever in debt to both of them. This is for them. 

A huge thank you to those who contributed to this milestone. I am forever grateful. Every day, I try to be a better version of myself so that when I leave this earth, I can leave my 2 cents behind.

To top it off: Don’t give up. Focus on your goals and have discipline to achieve them. Relax and reflect throughout the endeavor and be kind to yourself. After all, we are only human. 

Jacqueline Cruz is a 2021 Beach graduate, receiving her Master of Public Administration degree. She received her bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2019.  Beach Voices is an occasional feature that allows members of the Beach community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – to share their personal experiences. If you’d like to be considered, send submissions labeled “Beach Voices” to

Photos by: Frankie Orozco