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Adriana Gonzalez's Role Has Helped Her See a Brighter Future

Adriana Gonzalez

Adriana Gonzalez, an administrative assistant for the music program, loves to take her cat, Leah, to the beach to let her dig holes in the sand. “She acts like a dog,” says Gonzalez. “She's on guard and then she'll just start digging randomly.” When she’s not busy taking her cat out, Gonzalez loves to spend time with her son. 

Before joining the University of California, Santa Cruz, Gonzalez worked for several years as a courier for FedEx, including during COVID. “I was exhausted working 14-hour shifts,” she says. She wanted a new job that allowed her to spend more time with her son without feeling drained from work.

She is a single mother to her son, who enjoys playing basketball, and her hybrid work at UC Santa Cruz allows her to prioritize time with him. “I had put my life on pause for many years when my son was born. I said ‘I'm gonna focus on him,’” she says. “I try to instill a positive mentality in him.”

Growing up, Gonzalez had one sister. Later in life her mother decided to have more children, so she has three younger sisters as well, whom she helps mentor. Her youngest sister and her son are only six years apart and often play together.

When Gonzalez applied for her current role she didn’t even know it was for UC Santa Cruz. After a year of applying to jobs, she was hired through a third party and wasn’t told what or where her job was until she was hired. “I never saw myself being in a university,” she says, but she loves where she ended up.

Since arriving here almost two years ago Gonzalez helped build up both social media and the newsletter for the music program, while also handling other administrative tasks. One of her favorite memories is of the recent Arts Division retreat where faculty and staff gathered for a morning of presentations from professors and a guest speaker. “It inspired me, just being in a space where everyone's expressing their passion and why they do what they do,” she says.

Hearing peoples’ passions both at the retreat and in her job has helped Gonzalez continue to push for her dreams in education. She is currently working on double majoring in computer science and applied mathematics. Gonzalez attends Hartnell Community College in Salinas, where she lives. But she intends on transferring to UC Santa Cruz once she receives her associates degree.

“It was kind of like a mind switch for me working for UCSC,” says Gonzalez. Her current role has helped her see a brighter future for herself and her son where she can achieve her personal and professional goals through her personal growth.