Honors student advances academic and financial goals through GGC Dual Enrollment program

The first time history major Aryn Ruiz heard about Georgia Gwinnett College was when she was considering Dual Enrollment during her junior year of high school. There were several choices of schools she could have attended; however, the two professors who talked about GGC’s Dual Enrollment program impressed her, and that combined with the location, made it the natural first choice for her.

Ruiz came to GGC as a high school senior keen to earn college credits at no cost. Her plan was to take the credits she earned and attend a different college after high school graduation. She had applied to several schools and been accepted to all of them. But that changed once she got to know the campus and became familiar with GGC’s many benefits. Among them GGC’s convenient location that allowed her to live at home, avoiding large student loans and helping her save money for her future.

Another benefit, her professors.

“The professors were also a major reason I decided to stay at GGC,” Ruiz said. “One time when I had a big research paper due, I freaked out because it was my first one. My professor helped me work through the process, and as a result, I wrote one of my best pieces of writing and earned an A on the assignment,” she continued. “And recently when a family member passed, several of my professors emailed to make sure I was doing okay.”

Once on campus, Ruiz sought like-minded friends, but that proved challenging since she didn’t live on campus. She ultimately decided the best way to make friends was to join clubs and attend campus events. Now a sophomore, she’s a member of GGC Wesley and the Honors Program, and serves as a student ambassador.

“Being a student ambassador has helped me grow so much. In high school, I was the quiet person in the back of the room who didn’t talk much,” she said. “Now I am no longer afraid to stand in front of a group and give a presentation. It also gave me connections to other peers who have helped me along the way.”

After graduating from GGC, Ruiz plans to earn a master's degree in education and eventually teach in middle or high school. She’s also considering becoming a professor so she can research as well as teach.

“My roots have now been established at GGC, and when asked if I will transfer, I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be,” Ruiz said. “GGC has provided a home and a community and has so many hidden treasures.”