Reaching Great Heights for Education - Osvaldo Torres’ Story

Posted on: July 21, 2014

Every once in a while we hear from a student who is overcoming great obstacles in order to achieve his or her educational goals.  We recently received a letter from student Osvaldo Torres who is working towards his MEd with JIU.   Osvaldo’s effort and dedication toward earning his degree are an inspiration to all of us at JIU.  Read on to hear his story.


Hello JIU,

I am a veteran and have registered for my first semester in the MEd program at JIU.  I live in the mountains of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico and have do a lot of traveling to get anywhere; I cannot attend a regular class during the week--JIU is perfect for me.

This does not mean that completing my classwork is by any means easy.  To access the modules, I charge my phone and my laptop and head out to a storage shack on a hilltop to download or copy my assignments.  After completing my work, I go back to the shack on the hilltop to find a signal and submit my work--If the signal is too weak, I put my phone in a plastic bag tied to the end of a long 15' bamboo pole.

I feel proud for having the privilege and the honor of being a graduate student.  I recently opened a message left from my professor congratulating me on my work.  I assumed this was a routine message and took it for granted...until I received a call from my academic counselor telling me that my professor had called him to let him know how happy the Doctor was about my work; making not that this is not a common occurrence.  Suddenly, the words from my professor took on a whole new meaning of great significance for me.

As you can see from the image, I go through a lot of trouble to complete my classwork.  Although these efforts are transparent and have no academic value, JIU offers every project and essay the opportunity to reach the hands of the staff and faculty charged with the difficult task of evaluating our work.

Thanks to JIU and modern cellphone technology, it is possible to complete an advanced degree online from some of the most remote locations on earth.  

Osvaldo Torres


On behalf of the JIU family, we would like to thank Osvaldo for sharing this great story of perseverance and dedication.  Best of luck in your studies!