Many students find classes and studying to be overwhelming, but toss having a child and working three or four jobs into the mix and completing school may sound impossible.
Ethan Pineda, senior in the biology program and pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant, proves that this feat is accomplishable, and that Ferris is the perfect place to do it.
Pineda initially chose Ferris because of the campus size and the distance from his hometown of Perry. He said it would allow him to get away from his hometown and start a new life.
One of life’s many curveballs was thrown at Pineda when he found out he was going to become a father in May 2010.
“Having a child in college is…well, hard,” said Pineda. “Not only are you juggling the difficulties that already come from being a college student, but you are now responsible for another life. And that is mostly why I work so many jobs, to make sure Little Foot [daughter Alivia] has what she needs.”
The various jobs Pineda has pursued while at Ferris have included being a residence assistant at Helen Ferris for two years, working as a student athletic trainer, working as an office assistant at the Osceola Friend of the Court, being a waiter at Bob Evans, and working as a Ferris Orientation Leader. He is currently working the latter four jobs listed while taking 16 credits and raising Alivia.
“Although it is difficult, I do enjoy every second of being a parent, and even though times are hard, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Pineda. “Being a parent has forced me to become even more of a time manager; I have learned to budget money and of course I have become more responsible. It has helped me to ‘grow-up,’ and I am very ready to get out in the real world and begin a new life with a promising career.”
Pineda is thankful for family and close friends who have supported him and helped him pursue his dreams. He is especially thankful to his sister Nina who has stood by his side in everything he does in life.
Having a daughter also comes with having to make sacrifices. Pineda said some of the biggest ones are sleep and giving some things up in his social life.
“I had to step back from my fraternity, and this summer I was working a lot verses being out enjoying the vacation,” said Pineda. “Now after listing these things, some may think that one would be annoyed to have to sacrifice so much, yet I am happy to give up all of these things just to know that Little Foot has all that she needs and is a happy baby.”
Within the past year, Pineda has made time to be a member of student government, be the BIG Event volunteer coordinator, be the Holiday Food Drive coordinator, be a member of the FSU choir, and be a member of the Ferris State Pride Committee, whose mission is to “…encourage all employees and students to promote and participate in spirit of cooperation, responsible citizenship and lifelong pride in our university.” The next Pride Day will take place on Oct. 5. During this time, members of the Pride Committee will be on campus rewarding students who display school pride.
“It is important for students to have Ferris pride because, although some don’t know this now, this is your home. Take some pride in it,” said Pineda. “I personally have a lot of pride for Ferris because it has shaped me to be who I am today. I am going on my fifth year here and couldn’t be happier to be at Ferris.”
One of the many things that Pineda loves about Ferris is also one of its core values: opportunity. He believes Ferris gives students the opportunity to do many things that other universities don’t offer in quite the same way, such as having a leadership role or internship, creating your own registered student organization, volunteering at various events, and getting to know the community.
“Ferris gives you an opportunity to make a name for yourself before you are out in the world looking for a job,” said Pineda. “It gives students who wouldn’t normally be at a university a chance to have a ‘college experience.’ I could go on and on about how passionate I am about Ferris; that’s just one of the biggest things that excites me about Ferris.”
Through Ferris’ opportunities and the drive to succeed, Pineda along with many other students juggling intense college lives have bright futures ahead of them.