“Getting this degree just kind of opened the doors and gave me a lot of different chances that I never really expected or hoped for,” she said.
“When I started off this endeavor, it was half to find myself, half to make a difference, but mostly to help take care of my family, you know?,” she said. “And now it’s like, I have this chance to actually do something — and what do I want to do with it?”
She didn’t wait for the degree to begin working to better the community, though, and she’s been a freelance reporter for The La Crosse Independent, a progressive online magazine, where she’s been able to write about protests, police in schools and more.
“There’s some things you want to see change, and there’s some things where, even though I don’t know what to do, I know to be out there and support, any which way you can,” she said.
On Sunday, Baca will attend her virtual graduation ceremony, and will give a speech for her department’s virtual get-together before making cookies and cupcakes with her daughters to celebrate.
And even though she said she wished she could walk across the stage to get her diploma, Baca said at least there’s always grad school.
“And I don’t have to worry about finding the perfect white suit,” Baca said. “I needed a whole, white Kamala Harris suit. I wanted to look just as cute.”