Setting an Example for Miles
By enrolling at Tri-C and earning a degree, Mercedes Arnau shared an important lesson with her young son
Mercedes Arnau could have stayed at her job as a movie theater manager. She didn’t have to enroll at Cuyahoga Community College and pursue a career as a graphic designer.
But her outlook changed when her son, Miles, was born in March 2016.
“I wanted to set an example,” Arnau said. “He’s too young to know it now, but when he’s older, I wanted him to see that his mom went back to school and got a degree. And if I can do it, he can do it.”
Arnau, 29, always had an interest in art and graphic design. She enrolled at the University of Akron in 2008 and became a studio art major. But life got in the way of Arnau’s plans, and she left the university in 2012 without a degree.
“My mom became sick and I had to take care of her,” she said. “I never lost my interest in art and design, but it wasn’t working out for me to finish a college degree at that point.”
She worked at different jobs over the next four years, but it wasn’t until Arnau’s brother went back to school that she started to seriously think about giving college a second chance. Her son’s birth gave her the final motivation. When he was five months old, she enrolled at Tri-C.
“What drew me to Tri-C was the fact that I could take my classes online,” Arnau said. “I could study for my degree while staying at home and taking care of my son.”
A little more than two years later, Arnau has graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in graphic design.
“I want to work in the industry for a year or two, but I eventually want to go back for my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “I’d like to end up in graphic design development or education.”
As she moves on, Arnau is grateful that Tri-C gave her a chance to renew the pursuit of a longstanding dream and to convey a valuable lesson to her son.
“I wanted to provide a better life for me and my family, and Tri-C was the place to start,” she said. “There are a lot of amazing people here who are willing to help you and guide you in the right direction.”
December 20, 2018
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org