Going off to college can be a wonderful but difficult thing. Even if you choose a local school, you’ll likely be challenged in ways you’ve never experienced before, both physically and mentally.
Typically, there will be stress over how to pay for your education. Money is tight when you’re just starting out, and the term “starving college student” was coined for a reason.
But when you’re also far from your support network, the lack of friends and family can really take its toll. Many students look forward to going home on breaks and holidays because it means catching up on sleep, delicious food and spending time with loved ones.
That’s not how Christmas time was shaping up for Julissa Cuevas. In school in Pennsylvania, Cuevas was far from her home and family in California. She was working hard to pay for school, but that meant nothing much was left over for travel.
This was going to be the second Christmas she wouldn’t be able to go home, but her co-workers apparently knew how much it would mean to her to see family.
So they worked together to buy Cuevas plane tickets and some spending money, and presented it to her in the school dining hall where they worked.
“Oh no, you didn’t!” Cuevas said in a video of the reveal, as soon as she realized what she was holding in her hands. Then she burst into tears and held her face in her hands.
“I decided to go to school in Pennsylvania…nearly 3,000 miles away from home,” Cuevas explained on Facebook. “Every year I told myself I’d save money to go home; though, it was extremely difficult due to monthly school payments.”
“That made my traveling plans complicated. Because of that, I haven’t been home in almost 2 years.”
“I’ve been working at my college’s dining hall since my sophomore year, and never have I ever thought that I would be surrounded by such a wonderful and beautiful family. Today, I was surprised with a ticket to California.”
“Yup, these magnificent people pitched in to make sure I’d go home for the holidays. I’m extremely blessed to have them in my life. They are wonderful and I could not have asked for a better family. ? Thank you to everyone that helped! I’m forever thankful ?”
“We love you girl!!” one of her coworkers, Carol Ann Sue Hart, commented on Cuevas’ post. “You are a hard working young lady and we are proud to work with you. Merry Christmas.”
“Thank you!!” replied Cuevas. “It really does mean a lot to me that you guys did this. I was so surprised and overwhelmed with emotion ?”
Hart also shared the video on her page. “Merry Christmas!!” she wrote. “So proud to be a part of this wonderful Christmas present.”
“This young lady has not been home for almost 2 years and Brooks dining hall (where I work) made that possible. I truly work with some amazing people. This brought tears to our eyes to see this truly deserving young lady go home for the holidays!! God bless you, Julissa Cuevas.”
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