HometownBrazos County

Actions

Retired Marine at Blinn College accomplishes goal of over 20 years to graduate with associates

Posted at 8:47 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 21:47:02-04

BRAZOS VALLEY — From serving on the frontline of the country to graduating from Blinn College tonight with his associates, Michael Rocha is accomplishing a goal of over 20 years.

Michael always put others before himself, and now he is finally fulfilling his dream.

“It’s the pursuit of a dream, accomplishing a goal that I set out on 25 plus years ago,” said Michael Rocha, Retired U.S. Marine, Blinn Graduate. “I’m the first one in my family to go to college at any level and get a degree. I was the first one in my family to graduate high school.”

Mike says it took being heartbroken after losing both of his parents within five months of each other to have the motivation to keep going.

“When I lost my parents, that was probably the motivation I needed to push me to decide that when you lose your parents and your loved ones, you realize that life is short and we may not be here tomorrow,” said Rocha.

Mike now looks forward to joining his youngest son in his senior year at Texas A&M this fall and owes credit to his academic advisor for helping his dreams come true.

“Ms. Reyes is probably that inspiration I needed to help me realize that my goals were achievable because she knew exactly what I needed to do and what courses to set me up on and the path that would give me the best opportunity for acceptance into Mays,” said Rocha.

While Mike is an inspiration to others, Rebecca Reyes says Mike was her inspiration.

“It was really inspirational to serve someone who all these years put so much time and effort and energy to make sure his own children to have the quality of education that he always imagined for them so to see him come back to school after such a long time and finally say, it’s my turn, was really incredible,” said Rebecca Reyes, Academic Advisor at Blinn College.

Reyes says Mike stood apart from other students and always said thank you.

“When you get a special student like Mike who doesn’t overlook the people who helped him along the way really makes the job everything that you hoped it would be,” said Reyes.

After Mike finishes his degree at Texas A&M, he plans to go into medical equipment and device sales to help save people’s lives.

Rocha hopes to create scholarships funds to help other students like him, giving them the opportunity to accomplish their dreams as well.

He also shares how his wife inspired him to get his degree as she went back to school at age 40 to get her nursing degree.