Graduates of CNM: Gloria Aragon

Gloria persevered in school and at work despite her ongoing battle with cancer
May 12, 2022

Gloria Aragon has been battling cancer for the last 10 years, but she hasn’t let that get her down. Instead, Gloria decided to go back to school in 2017 while still going through treatment.


“I started thinking there must be something better than just bouncing from job to job, so I decided to check out CNM,” Gloria says. “I went to the South Valley Campus and I met with CNM advisor Patrick Gomez, and he’s the one who helped me realize that I wanted to register.”


Given that her previous work experience consisted mainly of administrative roles, Gloria decided to major in Business Administration. But rather than trying to take on too much at once, Gloria says she started off taking six to nine credit hours per semester and just went from there.


“I started taking business classes and I totally loved it,” Gloria says. “I’m a people person, so I just really enjoyed being a student, going to class, and getting to know the other students.”


It wasn’t long before Gloria got a new job working in the front office at the South Valley Campus, assisting other students with their IDs, bus passes, and registration. Unfortunately, it was during this time that Gloria began having issues with her left arm and ended up being diagnosed with a brain lesion as a result of her cancer.


For some people, a diagnosis like that might be reason enough to take a break from work or school. But for Gloria, it was nothing more than a temporary setback.


“If you look at things negatively, then you’ll be affected in a negative way. But if you have a positive attitude, you’ll have a better life,” Gloria says.


While going through treatment, Gloria continued working and taking classes right up until her brain surgery in April 2020. After taking the summer off to recover, Gloria got right back to helping her fellow students navigate college life during the pandemic in her new role as a CNM Student Ambassador.


“The way I saw it, I had two choices: I could sit at home and cry, ‘Woe is me!’ or I could go back to CNM and start exercising my brain,” Gloria says.


Gloria graduated from CNM in Fall 2021 with an associate degree in Business Administration and was excited to walk in the graduation ceremony at Tingley Coliseum this past Saturday. Now that she's finished with school, Gloria says her new goal is simply to help inspire positivity in others.


“My time at CNM gave me a lot more confidence in myself and showed me that no matter what, I can do whatever I set my mind to,” Gloria says. “There are always going to be stones thrown in your path, but if you keep a positive attitude and don’t give up, you can do it.”