By Elizabeth Exline
Sometimes your past lays the necessary groundwork for your future. Sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands.
Jacob Bruce falls into the latter category. Born and raised in Upper Michigan, Bruce comes from a family in which hard work is valued. But education? Not so much.
On that topic at least, Bruce is the outlier. For him, education has been his chosen path for discovering both the life and the career he’s always wanted.
“The first time I met Jacob, the focus centered around career progression while taking future steps toward advancement,” explains Jennean Peguese (Rieth), an academic counselor at UOPX. “Jacob was working a job that did not support his family or aspirations in information technology. Through assessment of his work experience and transfer credits from [a] community college, we could take steps toward earning additional credits in his first year with UOPX, opening the doors to earning an associate degree in information technology.”
In addition to earning his degree, Bruce went on to achieve an industry certification and successfully take an EC-Council exam to further distinguish himself in the sector.
By this time, he and his wife were married, and they had a daughter. Bruce was still working in the job he hated, and his life had taken on a monotonous routine of work, weekend, repeat. “I was like, ‘I need something better than this,’” Bruce recalls.
In March 2022, two and a half years after starting his bachelor’s program, Bruce completed his degree. He is the first in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The commencement ceremony in Phoenix marked this milestone in a momentous way: His degree was conferred, and he finally met Peguese face-to-face.