Education has been the driving force in Kaitlyn Cruz’s life as long as she can remember. “My father is from Guatemala; he moved to the U.S. after he got his education. It was difficult for him, and he didn’t want me to have to face the same trials, so he’s always put an emphasis on getting my education.”
Kaitlyn with her father, Jorge Cruz. Above, with mother Amy Cruz.
The Ragsdale student body president had a lot of options for college, but just one felt right. “The moment I stepped on the High Point University campus I absolutely fell in love with it and knew it was the place I was going to be for the next four years.” Kaitlyn also knew she needed financial aid, so she applied for the Say Yes Scholarship. She says when she found out she got it she was “was over the moon! It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, because I knew that this was the place that I needed to be, and I was beyond happy that they felt that I needed to be there too.” “I’m first generation and the first woman in my whole family to go to college,” Kaitlyn explains, so sharing the news with her family was even more special.  “It’s a journey that we’re all going to be taking together.” Kaitlyn wants to major in history and teach in high school, sharing her love of learning with another generation. “It’s always been a big emphasis in my house to try to get the best education that I can, and I think I’ve found that. It has the power to change your life.”