Adalberto Hurtado

Adalberto Hurtado, a 21-year-old junior at Arizona State University, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Global Leadership. He maintains a high Grade Point Average (GPA) while working full-time and plans on owning his own business one day – and believe it or not he didn’t learn to speak English until the third grade.

Adalberto explains that he was born in Phoenix but his parents moved the family back to their home country of Mexico when he was two weeks old, “I remember being very young and surrounded by family and attending school near the city of Guadalajara. I can remember school being less strict in Mexico and then being in total shock when we moved back to Phoenix and I started the third grade not speaking a word of English.” Adalberto says he recalls crying in class because he was so stressed out about the language barrier, “There were times when I was overwhelmed, but ultimately I viewed the experience as a challenge and within a few months I learned English and was named Student of the Month.”

Adalberto went on to prosper in school,  graduating near the top of his high school class and later graduating from Estrella Mountain Community College with a 4.0 GPA. He has also worked full-time as an assistant manager with Burger King throughout his college experience. Adalberto says he hopes to work his way up the ladder with his current employer after graduating ASU, “It’s my goal to eventually become the director of operations and gain enough experience and connections to eventually start my own business in the transportation or distribution industry.”

Adalberto adds that his scholarships have helped him keep out of debt, “I’ve been very lucky to have gotten through college to this point without having any out-of-off-pocket expenses. The five-thousand dollar per year scholarship funded through Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been really helpful in covering tuition and other expenses.”

Adalberto says the Success Advisers at College Success Arizona have provided mentorship and resources, “I talk my with success advisor on a regular basis and he has been great in providing advice on a number of topics such as job fairs and networking. He’s helping me build a network of friends and business connections that could be really helpful later in my career.”

Adalberto says his work ethic and desire to succeed was born from the struggles of overcoming a language barrier as well as encouragement from his parents, “My mom and dad have always sacrificed so that I can have opportunity and they have always pushed me to do well in school and get a degree.” And to students working their way through grade school who are facing similar challenges, Adalberto says:

“There are a lot of struggles in life but if you have vision, determination, and work hard you can accomplish anything.”

Listen to the the audio PodCast of Adalberto’s complete interview here

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