News | 10 June 2014

Never give up on a dream


Re-entry student Raymundo Reyes, who dropped out of high school to raise seven siblings, is on to his next chapter—a literature degree from UC Santa Cruz.

Raymundo Reyes’s first job was selling lipstick at a swap meet.

He was 14 at the time, only three years away from the day he would drop out of high school to raise his seven siblings, and he didn’t know a string of 40 different jobs lay ahead.

Over the next two decades, in order to support his siblings, Reyes says he drove a bread truck, dug ditches, and worked the night shift at a gas station in Pico Rivera where a person could get shot for not much more than refusing to sell a six-pack after 2 a.m.

He taught swimming, worked in restaurant kitchens, jackhammered sidewalks, delivered exotic dancers to their jobs, and piloted movie stars to the Academy Awards in a sleek limousine.

Now 44, Reyes has a new job in mind.

The UC Santa Cruz literature and Spanish studies major hopes to become a writer/public speaker and a college professor some day.

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