Great-grandmother graduates from UTRGV with a psychology degree

Lupita Moreno, 75, recently graduated from the University of Texas Rio GrandeValley. Moreno, who has been in nursing for 50 years, returned to school and received her bachelor's degree in psychology this semester. (Courtesy photo)

Many people dream of retiring in their 70s, maybe even travel the world for a while and spend a lot of time with their children, grandchildren, and, in some cases, great grandchildren, but Lupita Moreno is not one of those people.

Moreno, 75, who worked 50 years as a nurse, decided to enter The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley back in Spring 2015 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and with the support of classmates, professors and especially her family, she graduated this semester.

Scared at first, like any other college student in their freshman year, she said during the first semester her computer skills were very limited but feels very grateful that she received a lot of help from classmates. She added at first, college students who are in their late teens and twenties, would look strangely at her but eventually became very supportive classmates.

“I did require a lot of help, and they helped me a lot in the library and people that know more about these skills, but as far as the studying is concerned, I just used what I already knew how to use and I was able to do it,” she said. “The first semester I went with the idea of ‘if I don’t think I can make it that’s it’ but it turns out that I was able to, so I stayed.”

When asked about what made her decide to go back to school after having a long career as a nurse, she said she had always wanted to learn more about psychology and the opportunity presented itself when she stopped working. She is still undecided on the path she wants to take now with her psychology degree but said she is interesting in clinical counseling.

Moreno, who is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, said her advice for everyone regardless of their age, is to go back to school if the opportunity presents and try their best. She said her family was very supportive, especially her husband who is a disabled veteran.

“They should go back to school, if the opportunity is there, go and learn and take it, it will help them because the more education the better work they can get, better pay and if they are able to just try it and if they do make it, stay until the end; that’s what I did, I stayed until the end, until I graduated,” she said.

Ana Logan, one of her daughters, said she is very inspired by her mother and is even planning on going back to school herself to pursue an Associate’s Degree. She said she is very proud of her, just like everyone else in the family.

“I am very inspired, I’m so excited for her and it’s motivating me to go back to school,” she said. “If my mom could do it, I can do it, too. I am very proud of her.”

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com