How a Teenage Father Became a Role Model

Beth Dumbauld

ND_studentWe are always pleased to share our student success stories with you, but what happens after our students graduate from our partner colleges and move up in their careers?

By popular request, we’ve followed up with Nino Diaz, one of our most viewed StraighterLine Success Stories, to see how his life has changed since earning his bachelor’s degree and where his degree has taken him.

When You’re Motivated to Earn a College Degree But…

As a teenage father, Nino Diaz had to put his education on hold so he could work to support his family, but had a goal of earning his college degree before his son graduated from high school. He needed a way to complete courses on his schedule and he found StraighterLine.

At StraighterLine, Nino completed 5 general education courses required for his degree. When he was ready, he easily transferred them to StraighterLine Partner College, Colorado State University Global Campus (CSU).

What It’s Like to Hold a Diploma in Your Hand

“Between working full time and raising my son it took longer than expected to complete core classes at my college,” Nino says. “As I gained capacity, I decided to complete what I had started and finished my undergraduate degree at CSU within two years.”

Nino credited StraighterLine with contributing to this achievement by allowing him to take courses that he could complete at his own pace.

“I Wanted to Role Model the Importance of Higher Education”

Nino was able to keep promises he made to himself long ago, both as a father and as a professional. “Earning my degree helped to achieve both personal and professional goals,” he says. “I wanted to role model the importance of higher education to my teenage son before he graduated high school. From a professional perspective, the completion of my degree helped to remove roadblocks to opportunities that were otherwise unattainable to me.

From Entry-Level to Manager

Nino currently works in the financial services industry with a large organization that specializes in retirement savings“I began my journey in an entry-level position,” says Nino, “and worked my way to my current role as manager within our Client Services division.”

Advice to Other Students Looking Fit College into a Busy Work Schedule

Nino shared his 3 biggest pieces of advice for other adult students considering going back to college:

  • Evaluate your current commitments and determine what must remain and what can be either postponed or sacrificed.
  • Finding a mentor or someone that will hold you to your declared goals can help you keep your focus.

How to Pay for College and Avoid Student Debt

Nino advises students to weigh all of their options in regards to financing their education and advocates using affordable online college courses whenever possible. “StraighterLine prevented student loan accumulation and out-of-pocket expenses in comparison to my universities tuition rate.”

“StraighterLine is a wonderful resource that students should explore as an alternative to earning college credit at a partner university,” says Nino. “The team at StraighterLine offers continued support along the way, from enrollment to the transfer of credits to your partner college. “

What’s Next?

Currently enrolled in an MBA program, Nino plans on completing his master’s in business by next spring and supporting his son’s goal of attending college.

“Professionally, I plan on growing within the organization that has supported my educational pursuit,” he says, “and to contribute in a way that creates change and opportunity for others.”

Recipe for Finding Career and College Success 

“The opportunity to receive a high-quality education through StraighterLine at a discounted rate (in comparison to college tuition),” he says, “is a great recipe for student success.”

Congratulations on your success Nino!

Want to be the next StraighterLine success story? Share your story in the comments below.


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