Little did Teodoro Marrufo know after arriving in the United States at the age of 21, and accepting a job unloading shipments at a meat manufacturer, that he’d become the proud father of multiple college graduates.
The Mexico native’s daughter, Angelica Marrufo (MA, ’17), will be the third of her three siblings to receive a master’s degree, and the second to earn a degree from Roosevelt. She will earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Taking great pride in her academic achievement, Marrufo will also have the honor of carrying the College of Education banner in Roosevelt’s Commencement ceremony on May 5.
“I knew as soon as I got the offer that I was going to take it,” Marrufo said. “I’ve worked hard to get here. I feel like with Latinos, and people of color, we are constantly told that we don’t belong in academia by society. So, to be at the forefront, leading my class, is a huge privilege and accomplishment.”
Marrufo’s road to higher education wasn’t a smooth journey. In her sophomore year at the University of Iowa, she received a phone call that her niece had been the victim of molestation. It was this experience that led Angelica to the field of counseling.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Marrufo said. “There was a psych class that I took in high school, and I really liked it. But, when my niece got counseling for her own experience, it confirmed what I wanted to do.”
According to Marrufo, her professors and work with the Roosevelt Counseling Association (RCA) helped her prepare for her future profession.
“It’s been amazing,” Marrufo said. “Dr. [Kristina] Peterson and Dr. [Dennis] Frank have really prepared us for the real world. They’re able to give hands-on feedback for our case studies, and we’ve had great support from them.”
Later in May — after she completes her internship with the domestic violence agency Between Friends — Marrufo will transition into her role as a community support specialist at Thresholds, a facility that provides healthcare and housing for the mentally ill and people with substance abuse disorders.
As for any future plans, Marrufo hopes to attain Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor licenses, and to pursue a PhD in counseling education. Her advice for current students preparing to make their own transition out of college is to master the art of time management.
“I spaced my time out in a way that I know which month to be applying for jobs, and when to go to resume workshops to have someone look at [my resume and cover letter],” Marrufo said. “I’m blessed enough to know where I’m going to go afterwards. But, I think just utilizing everything you can — all the professors and even your peers — can make so much of a difference.”