Frank Flores

Frank Flores at his PCC graduationStudent

“It’s definitely a game changer for my family. What’s motivating me is not so much that I’m doing it for myself, but that I’m doing it for my family—my parents, my siblings, my cousins. Everybody’s rooting for me.”
Frank Flores, Future Connect student

For Frank Flores, who grew up in a family of small business owners and laborers, work always took precedence over schooling. During his senior year in high school, he was a manager at J.C. Penney’s – the youngest in the company’s history. While the immediate payoff was obvious, he couldn’t envision his future.

Then, a Future Connect recruiter visited Frank’s high school. He talked about upward mobility and the wage differences associated with degrees. Frank knew the best financial decision he could make for his future was to apply. Now, Frank is in his second year of Future Connect studying business, with the goal of transferring to PSU to continue with business or pursue nonprofit management. For Frank’s parents, who had him when they were 18 years old, Future Connect is another shot for them, too.

But Frank almost didn’t make it to this point. His first term at PCC, Frank was hospitalized for 11 days. Lying in his hospital bed, weak and tired with medical bills piling up, he wanted to quit school. His Future Connect Success Coach Will Butler-Paisley came to the hospital and assured Frank that he could redo classes next term. Will told him that work is important, but school would take him even further.

Will’s encouragement, coupled with him showing up when Frank needed it most, gave Frank the strength to return. “I’m so glad I came back. PCC has widened my horizons,” he says. “I have a lot more options now that I never considered.”