Mother of Three and Real Estate Agent Finds Time to Go Back to School and Inspire Her Children

College is a family affair for the De La Cruzes
Angelica De La Cruz and her three children play mini golf at the Launch Pad Scholars end of the year event

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As a real estate agent and a mother of three young children, balancing time is something Angelica De La Cruz has had to master, especially after she added going back to school to pursue a degree in business administration in real estate. Her dedication has inspired her daughters who attend campus events by her side.

“What did I get myself into?” thought 38-year-old De La Cruz as she embarked on a journey to earn her bachelor’s degree from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

De La Cruz applied for a KC Scholars scholarship in November 2021, not thinking it was a realistic goal. She earned an associate’s degree in 2008 from Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, and joined the workforce without completing a bachelor’s.

The scholarship did come through, and as a mother of three at age 37, she decided to attend UMKC part-time as a non-traditional student. She decided to work toward a degree in business administration in real estate, and in her first semester was introduced to the Bloch Launchpad Scholar program. The program offers students professional and leadership development and up to $5,000 in scholarship funding.

The only issue: De La Cruz would have to be a full-time student.
Already with a full plate, she began having conversations with her family to decide whether going back to school would be worth it as a student with children. They told her she would regret not taking the opportunity.

Angelica De La Cruz poses with her children at the Launch Pad end of year event

“It was scary, but I was excited at the same time,” De La Cruz said.

The support she received from her family and from faculty at UMKC allowed her to budget her time and finances as she worked toward her goal.

“I chose UMKC for its convenient location. When you are a college student, mom, wife and a
realtor, you have to juggle several tasks. Convenience is top priority for any decision. In addition, I found a welcoming and supportive environment,” De La Cruz said.

She has been a real estate agent for a decade and her goal is to help underserved communities become homeowners by providing education and tools to secure housing and contribute to family wealth.

Angelica De La Cruz and her children sitting at a table at the Launch Pad end of year event

Born in Villa Madero, Michoacan, Mexico, De La Cruz believes earning a degree is about more than just advancing her career; it’s a chance to honor her parents and inspire her seven and nine-year-old daughters.

“I am a first-generation college student. My dad never attended school and my mom only finished third grade. For me to be attending college now, is a way to honor my parents’ hard work and sacrifices they made for me and my siblings to better ourselves,” she said.

Balancing school with being a mom means making adjustments and sacrifices. Some days, De La Cruz calls on her family support to help watch her children. But sometimes, thanks to the support system at Launchpad, they’ve gotten the chance to experience college first-hand.

“My college program has inspired my daughters to go to college. When they accompany me to a UMKC event, such as Launchpad cohort meeting, basketball game or Honors Program party, they get excited,” she said. “Both leave the campus saying how much they love my school and can’t wait to go to college. Listening to my daughters talk about college, at their young age, brings joy to my heart.”

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