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Lehigh Carbon Community College

By Suzy Alstrin
Reinhardt University’s online Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) degree became a perfect fit for a non-traditional student with a background in law enforcement and a passion for breaking down barriers. The graduation signifies a milestone for Adrian Montealvo (RU-2024) by becoming a first-generation college graduate and takes him a step closer to his goal of attending law school.

While attending classes in his 30s, working full-time as an investigator for the public defender’s office, and raising a family, Montealvo explains his classes helped him tremendously by providing continuous growth, improving problem-solving skills, and helping him tackle his career confidently. He was determined to succeed, despite challenges along the way. The Candler County, Georgia resident credits his success to the BBA’s 100% online format, combined with the support of his family, friends, and colleagues.

Montealvo loves seeing faces light up when he tells them he enjoyed going back to school. He hopes his perseverance and diploma set an example, “My degree is rewarding for my parents and family. It lets my kids, nephews, and nieces know that it’s never too late to go after something that you’ve always wanted to do and come out as being successful in life. I want to help break down those barriers and inspire future generations as a first-generation Mexican-American succeeding in college and holding a professional career.”

In 2020, Montealvo utilized his ability to connect with the Hispanic community by volunteering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help reach “hard-to-count” residents. Recently, the Community in Schools organization welcomed him to be a youth mentor. His volunteering has also extended to working alongside the Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce in the past to advocate for local businesses. “I was working as an investigator for the Candler County Sheriff’s Office at the time, and I felt my efforts helped humanize an officer’s involvement in the community.”

By progressing to obtain a law degree, Montealvo hopes to work for the District Attorney’s office and continue to serve the community by helping prosecute cases fairly. His career choices reflect his desire to serve others. He faces his challenges with confidence and explains, “My philosophy is centered around serving God, my family, and my community with integrity, not only for me but for the success of everyone. If I’m successful, I should be able to instill that in everyone so they can be successful too.”