“My name is Erica Ruiz, and I’m from Stockton California. I was blessed to be born to a hardworking family who used to migrate from California to Mexico every year. When we were in Mexico I would get enrolled in the school system there, and once in California, I would get enrolled in the school system here. Whether it was in Mexico or in California, I always excelled in my studies and this was thanks to my devoted parents who instilled very important values in me. Values such as responsibility and dedication opened me the doors to University of the Pacific. I became actively involved at Pacific, and from there I learned that I really take pleasure in helping and working with others. My biggest dream is to further my education, and contribute in bettering my community. I take great pride in my academic achievements because all the goals that I have set for my life will depend on how much effort I put into my education.

I want to pursue a degree in the field of Psychology and another one in Spanish. I have decided to major in these particular areas because I have thought about the position that I want to hold, the responsibilities I want to shoulder and the challenges I want to encounter.  My inspiration first emerged after visiting an institution for developmentally delayed and from there I realized that I would love to serve, help and work with people. However, I am conscious that a career goal cannot be attained solely from books; therefore, when I’m not studying I am an active participant in many church activities such as volunteering for church festival committees. I also devote a lot of my time to the Latino Community Outreach Program at Pacific and Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority Inc. and other community related activities, because it is from my community that I have significantly learned from and the minimum I can do for my community is to contribute some of my time to it.”

Erica is a senior at the University of the Pacific and will be graduating this May!