Genaro Vargas’s dream has always been to attend culinary school. Even before he graduated from Bend High School, he started researching his options. He chose to attend the Cascade Culinary Institute for its prestigious program and knowledgeable faculty.
“By attending the COCC, I’m getting the same education as at a private or more expensive school for a lot less money,” says Genaro.
The youngest of ten siblings, Genaro is the only one to graduate from high school and continue his education at college. His parents, who live in Mexico, are not able to provide financial support. He works at La Rosa and Pine Tavern restaurants part time during the school year and full time during the summer. Last fall he took 18 credits while working 30-plus hours a week.
“So far I have had the immense fortune to receive scholarships and financial aid that have helped me to pay for my tuition without having to take out a loan,” says Genaro. “However, I have to put a lot of effort into keep my grades high to continue receiving financial aid.
“My experience as a college student has been gratifying, but it also has been a tough process to keep up with. My advice for all of you who are going through diversity or are considering going to college, is not to let your dreams collapse despite the many struggles you’ll have to overcome. The results of your hard work and efforts will pay off.”
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