For Arlinda Ruiz the road to higher education was not an easy one. A 45-year-old domestic violence survivor, she worried there wouldn’t be a place for her in the world of academia.
“I’m this short Mexican girl, dark, Indigenous, blasted up with tattoos,” Ruiz says. “I was homeless at 13, a teen mom, a high school dropout. … I didn’t really see much of a future for myself.”