Daisy Valtierra has many titles – mom, Mexican American, military spouse, Navy Reservist, and college graduate. Soon she’ll be an MBA recipient to top it all off. How she earned all these titles is as impressive as the titles themselves.
Daisy’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico as teenagers to provide better lives for their family, she says. The couple settled down in San Marcos, California and started a family. Daisy has four sisters, including her twin.
Daisy’s native language is Spanish and since San Marcos has a large Spanish-speaking population, she was able to attend a school that emphasized reading and writing in both languages as a young student, making her transition a bit smoother.
“I’m proficient in both because of it,” she says. “As I got older, Spanish stuck with me. I think it helped me a little bit more because I was more picky about how I wrote.”
Through Daisy’s entire school career, she says being bilingual set her up for a great deal of success. After attending high school in San Marcos, she went straight to college — though her time there turned out to be brief.
“I wanted to work,” she recalls. “The motivation to go to school – I just lost it.”
Daisy got married and became a mom, having her first son at 23 years of age. In 2013, at the age of 31, Daisy joined the military, in part to ensure she could provide her son with good health insurance, but also because she says she saw it as an opportunity.
“I’ve always wanted to join,” she explains. “It was now or never.”
She grew to love the military. Specifically, she loved the diversity and the opportunities to meet different people.
Later, she would have a second child and find her way back to her education.
“When I got older, and I had my second son, I went back to school and got my associate,” she says. “I took a break, and then I got the Homefront Heroes Scholarship.”
Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Daisy’s husband at the time was an Independent Duty Corpsman. He joined the military just after September 11, 2001. Daisy found out about the Homefront Heroes Scholarship through a Facebook group and decided to apply. The award recognizes the dedication of military spouses and provides the financial resources for partners of service members to earn their associate or bachelor’s degree.
Daisy was awarded the scholarship in 2018. “I was amongst five recipients,” she says. “I was presented the award at the San Diego Symphony Home for the Holidays Concert at Jacobs Music Center Copley Symphony Hall.”
The award led her to Ashford University, now the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) and cleared a path for Daisy to accomplish a lifelong goal. “I was shocked,” she laughs. “I was excited because it was an opportunity for me to go back to school and it would help me a lot. I have always wanted to pursue my degree, but life got in the way.”
In 2019, Daisy enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration program at Ashford University as a Homefront Heroes scholarship recipient. Plus, she was able to transfer her credits from her associate degree and from her military experience.
Daisy says she’s always had an interest in business.
“I like to listen to different podcasts about business,” she explains. “I thought that was the field I should get into.”
Daisy was on her way with the support of many in her life, including UAGC staff and faculty.
“In the beginning I got great advisors,” she says. “They were very welcoming, and they were always there any time I needed something.”
In early 2021, Daisy completed her bachelor’s degree, even taking advantage of the Smart Track program to get a head start on her MBA, which she officially enrolled in last October. Thanks to the support she gets as a military student, it was an easy decision.
“UAGC is a great school that supports the military community,” she states. “Right now, that I’m in my master’s program, I get the military grant, and I know it saves me a lot of money. Not everybody has that opportunity to get their school expenses paid. For the military, it’s an awesome benefit.”
Life of Service
Daisy spends her life and career in service of others and in service of the country, working full time for the Department of Defense. “I’m an assistant for program project management,” she describes. “I do a little bit of everything – pretty much handle a lot of the admin work.”
When Daisy receives her MBA next year, she knows she will have opportunities to grow in her career.
“From an assistant, I can go a different route if I choose to,” she says.
She is also a Navy Reservist and was recently selected for the reserve officer program. After her training, she’ll be working for the supply core.
“I’m in transition right now,” she says. “Because I’m still enlisted, I’ll be transferring over to the officer program. I’m a career counselor, so it keeps me really busy.”
If her military career were not enough, Daisy spends her free time volunteering for organizations like Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, Civilian Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (CMWR), and Women of the Workforce (WoW).
“CMWR and WoW are through my work,” she says. “We have people who volunteer their time with different organizations. They always have different events for employees. The Freedom Station does events for Wounded Warriors at Christmas time, so we help the kids decorate for Christmas.”
With her busy schedule, Daisy says going to school online helps her balance everything. “I try to make sure I’m done during the week, so I have the weekend to do other things,” she explains. “That way I’m not stressing out.”
At home, Daisy spends her time taking care of two boys, ages six (6) and 18. Her older son will be graduating high school close to the same time Daisy completes her MBA, and she believes her pursuit of education has made an impact.
“I think it has motivated him to want to go to school,” she says. “He knows what he wants to do and where he wants to go to school. He wants to get into biology.”
Daisy’s parents’ wish to provide better lives for their family has materialized spectacularly with Daisy nearing her master’s degree and her sisters — who have all settled in their careers — finding their own paths. Now, she’s setting the example for her own children.
“I hope to inspire my children,” she says. “I want them to see anything is possible when they set their minds to it.”
Special Terms and Conditions Body: Successful completion of this program by itself does not lead to licensure or certification in any state, regardless of concentration or specialization. Students seeking licensure or certification in a particular profession are strongly encouraged to carefully research the requirements prior to enrollment. Requirements may vary by state. UAGC does not guarantee that any professional organization will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Certain degree programs may not be available in all states.