Single mother of five graduates college, leads by examplePosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- A Valley woman has a lot to celebrate this graduation season as she fulfills a years-long goal and inspires others with her achievement.
Judith Robles, a hardworking single mother of five, is already an inspiration.
The 43-year-old is the director of the Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program at Arizona State University's Student Services department.
"I work with first-generation students to get them on their journey into college," Robles said.
This week, she added a new accolade: a college degree. Robles received her Bachelor of Science in communications from ASU.
"It's quite an experience for me. It's been a really long road for me and for my family, but I am so excited to finally get to this point," she said.
If Robles looks familiar, it is probably because of her son, Anthony Robles.
He is the ASU alumnus and 2011 NCAA National Championship wrestler who gained notoriety for his incredible skills on the mat and his ability to compete at the highest level all on one leg.
"To do that all on one leg and with the humility and grace that Anthony does was even more of an accomplishment to me, so it was a huge year because he won the title and he graduated from ASU," Robles said.
The mother of five says college degrees are a requirement for all of her kids, so it was only fair that she lead by example.
In an interview ahead of the ASU Hispanic Convocation, where Robles was set to receive the Jose Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, she told 3TV that conversations with her son Anthony prompted her to pursue her degree.
Robles said it was one of the hardest but best decisions she's ever made.
"Even though I had worked full time, come home, did homework, and I was tired, and I would cry, I would fall asleep, and there were so many things to get done, but I knew fighting through that at the end I would have my degree and that would open the door for many opportunities for me," she said.
She says the quote "when you feel like quitting remember why you started" really helped push her through.
This week all her hard work paid off two-fold. Not only did she earn her degree, but her son Nicolas also graduated and so did his wife.
"You know what? I'm a very proud mom," she said.
And she has this advice for anyone else considering whether getting a college degree is the right move: "If someone like me can do it, a mother of five children, who struggled, who went through a lot of challenges and obstacles, there's no reason why they can't do the same thing. No matter how long it takes them, it's something I believe will definitely change their life."
Robles said she has already witnessed the changes in her own family. She said that for her kids, it's not a matter of whether or not they will go to college but rather which one and what their major will be.
Robles herself is not finished pursuing her education. She was accepted into graduate school at ASU and plans to start classes for her master's program in January.