When she graduated high school over 40 years ago, life got complicated for Elysa Ravelo. College was something she tried to accomplish, but marriage and a family ended up taking most of her time. “When I was younger, I went to Miami Dade College, but life got busy really fast as I got married, adopted twins, and within a year I had a baby of my own,” says Elysa. “My mother passed away shortly after, and school just wasn’t a priority anymore.”

After years of setting aside pursuing her dream of a college degree, the Pembroke Pines resident has finally accomplished her goal, and on December 11, will cross the platform at the Hard Rock Live to collect her Associate of Arts as she celebrates with other Broward College graduates.

Always Finding a Way

Elysa Ravelo
Elysa Ravelo

After her mom passed away, Elysa focused on providing for her family. She tried to balance work, school and raising a family but it wasn’t possible. She had to prioritize, and unfortunately, school fell to the side. Elysa found a job at the U.S. Postal Service as a secretary and has been working there for the past 38 years. And while she excitedly speaks about how much she enjoys her job, she could not forget her goal of attending college and completing a degree.

So, in 2013, by then a mother to adult children, Elysa decided to enroll in the Criminal Justice program at Broward College. “I am a strong advocate for justice, and I have always enjoyed solving problems,” says Elysa. “And on top of that, I get to help people by working this field.”

Her experience at the College has been “beautiful,” as she describes it. “I was lucky enough to learn from a group of faculty members that are among the best in their field. I was also fortunate to attend school with fellow students that, even though they were a lot younger than me, still made me feel welcome and one of their own.”

She doesn’t plan on stopping as she is already enrolled for the spring semester to begin her journey towards completing an A.S. in Crime Scene Emphasis.

“Age is not an obstacle to pursue your dreams and achieve goals,” Elysa says. “Just because you weren’t able to complete something at the time you’re expected to, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back to it later on and achieve it. I raised a family and provided for them for many years, and now I finally get to complete this goal for myself.”

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