When the pandemic hit, Gyzeht Delgado didn't know what to do with so much time on her hands until she started her own small business making custom pins, buttons and jewelry. She fell in love with it and decided she needed to change her academic goals. With the help of a SAC counselor, who assured her “it's never too late," she shifted her education plan to work towards a 4-year degree in business marketing.
Delgado came to Santa Ana College in 2018 as a high school dropout. She previously battled issues with drugs and alcohol, but knew she wanted more for herself, so she worked hard to turn her life around. Through SAC's School of Continuing Education, Delgado earned her high school diploma, and began working on her general education college courses.
The 31-year-old Santa Ana resident credits her SAC counselor for guiding her academic journey. After Delgado realized a path in science wasn't right for her, it was her counselor who encouraged her to switch focus to business.
“I don't think a lot of people take advantage of everything that's offered at SAC," Delgado said. “A lot of people are scared. I was scared to talk to them [counselors], but they really helped a lot."
One of Delgado's favorite SAC memories is going to the math center, where she was able to take advantage of tutoring sessions and a space to study, two things she didn't have when she was growing up. “They help you connect that little missing piece," she explains. “That is why I was able to graduate." Despite her high school difficulty, she says her favorite class became Pre-Calculus “because it was so satisfying when everything clicked." Eventually she was able to help others with their homework.
The professors also left an impression on Delgado, both academically and personally. Her Pre-Calculus Professor Kyle Bradley, made everything so simple that she says she wouldn't have passed any math class if it wasn't for him. Her Photography Professor Phillip Marquez, also gave her a lot of guidance and wrote her a letter of recommendation for a SAC scholarship. “He gave students a lot of opportunities, and he really cared," she said.
Gyzeht graduated from SAC in June 2023 and advises other students to take advantage of all the services that SAC makes available to its students, from tutoring to counseling.
Delgado said her next goal is to get her bachelor's degree. In Fall 2023, she will apply to California State University, Fullerton with the goal of majoring in business marketing.
When asked what she would say to her younger self, Delgado stressed, “Don't listen to people who tell you that you can't do something. Your past does not define you."