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SNHU Spotlight: Remus Figueroa Orozco '23: BS in Cybersecurity

Remus Figueroa Orozco, an SNHU graduate with his bachelors degree in cybersecurity.Remus Figueroa Orozco ‘23 said he depended on his career in the military to support his wife and sons. But when he was hit with a cancer diagnosis in 2019, his life and livelihood were thrown into disorder. That’s when his wife suggested he pursue his education. Orozco did just that, and four years later, he graduated with his online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).

“It was the best choice I’ve made," Orozco said.

Orozco said he remembers receiving his cancer diagnosis and hearing that he may be discharged from active service.

“I was scared because I had two boys and nothing going for myself. Didn’t have school, didn’t have a job lined up,” he said.

But, after talking it over with his wife, Orozco hopped onto the computer and began searching for programs that interested him. That’s when he settled on cybersecurity.

As an online student, Orozco said SNHU gave him the balance he needed to be happy and continue juggling his military career and family life. “I was able to participate in family events and also continue my education wherever I went,” he said. “I’m grateful I did it.”

The journey was not easy. Orozco had to learn to balance his work, family and health. Throughout many homework-filled nights, Orozco said, “There (were) times I wanted to just, you know, draw that white flag.”

But his wife was there to push him forward. Through her and his parents’ example, Orozco said he learned the value of partnership and support.

“Growing up, my family depended a lot on my parents,” said Orozco. “When it came to getting our (own) family on the right path (and) supporting them, I felt that it was solely on me. And that took a toll on me mentally.”

But after having a conversation with his mom, Orozco realized he did not have to do it alone. “My mom (reassured) me that she did not do it alone and neither did my dad," he said, noting that this realization made his journey just a bit easier.

“Having my mom tell me that kind of opened my eyes, let me know that my wife was there,” said Orozco.

His wife, also an SNHU student, supported Orozco during his chemotherapy. And she encouraged a sense of competition when it came to coursework.

“I think having us both go to school and compete made it easier, made it more fun,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here without her.”

Orozco also found support from his advisor Mary Fontaine.

“She would call me and make sure I was doing well. When I went through chemo, she made sure I wasn’t overwhelmed,” he said. “If it wasn’t for her, I would’ve been a whole lot more stressed.”

At the 2023 SNHU Commencement ceremony, Orozco walked across the stage to receive his degree. The night before, he’d celebrated his last day of active duty in the military.

“To finally be here and cross that finish line feels kind of great but also scary because you don’t know what comes next,” he said.

But Orozco already has plans in place. With his third child on the way and back-to-back job interviews lined up, he said he hopes to move back to his home state of Illinois.

“I can see myself, my wife, building our house. Our dream home, our forever home. I want to be able to watch my kids grow up, play baseball. And just be able to be there for them every day,” he said.

Orozco hopes his educational experience will teach his sons the value of determination and persistence.

“I hope to show them that you’re never down in life. As long as you push yourself, you can accomplish anything,” he said.

For other service members trying to pursue their education, Orozco had this advice: “It may be hard at first but once you get that ball rolling, nothing’s going to stop you.”

A degree can change your life. Choose your program from 200+ SNHU degrees that can take you where you want to go.

Abigayle Mahnken is a writer from South Carolina, who is currently earning her master's in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About Southern New Hampshire University

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs. Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.