A Mother’s Dream to a Student’s Success

Ruby Galindo

Oct 14, 2021

Ms. Figueroa is very passionate about the education of her daughters; she steered Melissa Martinez in the direction that resulted in her success today. A recent graduate from the California State University, Fullerton and a member of the BRDG Bridge to Connect organization, Melissa is now a computer engineer and an analyst at Accenture.


I watched Melissa’ testimony in BRDG’s September newsletter and I wanted to find out about the woman behind Melissa’s success. So I interviewed her mother (Ms. Figueroa) on her point of view about her daughters’ journey from her educational years to getting her first professional job.

Ms. Figueroa is a Hispanic mother with very few years of education but she always told her daughters that they could be and do anything they desired in the world… but only if they go to college. Ms. Figueroa was always hovering over Melissa to ensure that she completed her schoolwork and even bribed her with money when Melissa received A’s on her report cards. Ms. Figueroa is a hard worker and also a strict mother; providing for her family while ensuring that Melissa exceled in her education.

In her junior year, Melissa discovered the Bridge to Connect (BRDG) program through a flyer she found at school (California State University, Fullerton) and thought it was a great idea to join. At that time, Melissa was still a procrastinator and Ms. Figueroa was right there to make sure that Melissa did her work. There were times when Melissa said she didn’t have time to go to BRDG’s meetings and wanted to drop out, but Ms. Figueroa knew that what the program offered was the best tool and opportunity for her daughter’s success.


Ms. Figueroa appreciates the help that BRDG offered her daughter; the program taught Melissa responsibility and allowed her to be someone with a bright future. The Figueroa family is very proud of Melissa, and Ms. Figueroa will always be willing to help encourage and guide other young students in her community.


I know how easy it is to give up, but the outcome of Melissa’s journey is astonishing. Ms. Figueroa’s role in Melissa’s education is what a passionate parent looks like. Ms. Figueroa and her family are amazing people and hearing what she had to say inspires me to strive to be better. Her story touched me; the way she expressed her story to me with compassion made me believe she was my own mother! She uplifted and encouraged me with her experience, her good judgment, and her wise efforts. I feel a connection to Melissa; she has come a long way and her experience makes me see a brighter perspective in my own future career.


Ruby Galindo is a student at the California State University of Fullerton majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Advertising. She is acting as a Public Relation Consultant to BRDG as part of her Student PR agency assignment.