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Baby boomer has heart for this generation

Cruz Mueller isn’t much different from the other students who frequent the Multicultural Center, except that she graduated high school in 1969.

Scott Greenstone
The Broadside

 

Cruz Mueller isn’t much different from the other students who frequent the Multicultural Center, except that she graduated high school in 1969.
Dual enrolled in Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University-Cascades, Mueller has plenty to keep her busy, but she spends her free time in the Multicultural Center. She enjoys spending time with the other students there, and offers advice to the younger students when she can.
“I don’t judge them. I remember when I was that age,” said Mueller.
It was her desire to help kids discover their passion that led Mueller to return to school, where she is hoping to earn her Bachelor’s in Academic Counseling by next spring. Mueller believes that many students, especially in minority groups, feel like high education is out of their grasp, and she wants to educate them about the possibilities that are available to them.
“I find this generation is intelligent, but lazy–but they have so much potential. I’m always trying to encourage them,” said Mueller.
During her time at COCC, Mueller has made an impact on some students’ lives. Joaquin Rodriguez, the budget and community coordinator of the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College, met Mueller two years ago, through a COCC club. He said that Mueller helped him through the process of transitioning to OSU-Cascades.
“She helps anybody,” said Rodriquez. “You can ask her anything.”
The need to help the younger generation was a large part of what inspired Mueller to return to school, but she also wanted the education that her mother didn’t have the chance to receive. Mueller’s mother had to drop out of the school when she was in the eighth grade because World War II had just begun, and she needed to help support her family. When she returned to school, Mueller started at the beginning with Math 10 and Writing 60. Working her way up through the classes never discouraged Mueller; she believed in the advice she once heard from her grandmother; “It’s never too late to learn.”

Know someone interesting on campus? Let Scott know. Contact Scott Greenstone at sgreenstone@cocc.edu.

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