On Her Own Journey
Non-traditional student Veronica Bridges knows completing her education will help her achieve her dreams.
When Veronica Bridges began classes at the University of Idaho this fall, the academic junior was 38. But the San Francisco native and first-generation college student wasn’t about to let age be a barrier.
“I don’t really feel like I fit whatever an almost 40-year-old person should be like,” Bridges said. “I still feel pretty youthful myself.”
Bridges’ parents are from El Salvador, and she and her husband of 10 years, Matthew, have lived along the Pacific Coast from Baja, Mexico, to Northern California to Alaska, where Matthew works three-week-long shifts in the oil fields. Bridges always had an interest in working with animals. She worked on an Alaska Department of Fish and Game project to reintroduce wood bison to the wilderness. As part of the veterinary team, Bridges monitored the sedated animals’ vital signs.
“After that, I realized I wanted to work with wildlife, maybe in conservation,” Bridges said. She enrolled at the University of Alaska, and transferred to an online program at Oregon State after the couple moved to Hagerman in recent years.
She applied to UI to get a more hands-on educational experience. She got a financial bonus, too.
“I didn’t know when I was applying, but learned after that UI offers transfer students scholarships depending on your GPA,” said Bridges, who has paid for all her schooling out-of-pocket. “To possibly graduate debt-free is huge for me.”
She is excited for the opportunity to focus full time on schooling and pursue her dreams, wherever they may take her next.
“I’ve done a lot of really cool stuff so far, just in the different places I’ve gotten to live,” Bridges said. “Here I am now. Everyone has their own path, and we’re all on our journeys. This is mine.”
Article by Savannah Tranchell, University Communications and Marketing