In the summer of 2000, I arrived in California from Brazil in order to learn English. Shortly after arriving to the Coachella Valley, I enrolled in ESL classes at COD. My initial goal was to stay in the USA for only six months; but, I realized that my objective could not be achieved in such a short time. The following year, my status as an international student started to change as I began dating my wife with whom, I have been happily married for 13 years. Her enthusiasm and motivation, gave me the strength to keep moving forward toward higher education, despite all adversities. After completing all ESL levels, I began attending regular college classes at COD. In 2003, I attended the San Bernardino Sheriff's Academy for six months. In 2006, I became a full time Police Officer with the City of Cathedral City. In 2008, I earned my AA in Administration of Justice from COD and a short time later, I transferred to Southern Illinois University to earn my undergraduate degree in Workforce Education and Development. In 2010, after graduating from SIU, I began my graduate studies with the University of South Dakota, where I graduated on August 2014 with a M.S.A. with emphasis in Criminal Justice Administration. I want to acknowledge that COD changed my life for the better.