Ruben Gonzalez '13
It’s been a busy four years for Ruben Gonzalez '13.
Gonzalez came to the University of Redlands to play football but “found lots of other opportunities,” the Rialto native said. “It’s been an amazing four years.”
A biology major and psychology minor, Gonzalez is involved in FIE, the national service fraternity APO, Campus Diversity & Inclusion, and other community service organizations. Due to his dedication, Gonzalez won Freshman and Junior of the Year at the CAB Awards.
“Being involved has been life-changing,” he said. “Just going to give out food at a local shelter or helping high school students get into college really makes you feel great. It’s an eye-opening experience to see how privileged you are. It taught me a lot about myself and what type of leader I am.”
While at Redlands, Gonzalez was able to travel, spending a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia, and going to Sacramento to petition the state government to not cut Cal Grant awards. As a first generation student, Gonzalez felt it was important to speak up on the matter.
“I also helped with summer bridge programs to help other first generation students like myself to ease their transition,” he said.
In addition to tight bonds with students, Gonzalez grew close to professors. “My freshman year I was struggling with chemistry, but I had an awesome professor who gave us his home phone number so we could reach him in case we needed help,” he said. “It really helped me get through the first year of chemistry, and I still talk to him to this day.”
Following graduation, Gonzalez plans on shadowing physical therapists in Redlands and the Inland Empire in order to gain observation hours and experience before applying to physical therapy programs.
“It’s a lot of work, but I will do whatever it takes to get to my career as a physical therapist,” he said.