In Happy Accident, Stepfather-Son Graduate Together from LaGuardia Community College

In Happy Accident, Stepfather-Son Graduate Together from LaGuardia Community College

July 8, 2019

Victor Lopez and Julian Linares (pictured below from left to right at the college’s recent commencement) were shocked when they realized they’d both enrolled at LaGuardia in January 2018. They’d always had a good relationship—Victor, age 45, married Julian’s mom, Angela, in 2005. But they never planned to go to college together.

Victor Lopez and Julian Linares
From left to right: Victor Lopez and Julian Linares at Commencement

This fall, Julian, age 22, will start at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with much of his tuition covered by a RISD scholarship. He graduated with his associate degree in Industrial Design. He’s pictured below in the college’s FabLab, working on a piece of his design with laser-cut cast acrylic.

Julian in the FabLab
Julian in the FabLab at LaGuardia Community College

During their time at LaGuardia, Victor and Julian met for lunch weekly—motivating one another to graduate in 18 months, and studying together for math classes. Through this experience, their bond got much closer.

Victor is a realtor and air force reservist who did four tours in the Middle East. He needed to earn his associate degree in order to qualify for a promotion in the Air Force. LaGuardia was his fourth attempt at higher education, having started at other colleges, but never finishing.

Victor (pictured at below with Julian and Angela) graduated with his associate degree in New Media Technology: Entrepreneurship track, and plans to pursue his bachelor’s through the CUNY Baccalaureate program, next year. Meanwhile, he reports that he’s begun applying the learnings he gained through his major to his real estate business, and is already seeing an increase in sales.

Victor, Julian and Angela
From left to right: Julian, Angela, and Victor

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About LaGuardia Community College
LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs . LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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