There are days when Richard Gonzales can make a difference in people's lives. As a support
staff at the University of Michigan Medical Center's Radiography department, Gonzales interacts
with those who are elated with good news and those in despair faced with the prospect of death.
But this spirited young man has a smile for all of those who come through his department and he
goes out of his way to let them know that the hospital is filled with people who care.
"I can't sit in an area and not interact with people. It's in my nature; it's who I am," says
As a second year WCC student, Gonzales is putting his people skills to work. He is pursuing a degree
in humanities and elementary bilingual education with the help of the WCC Foundation. Social work is
in his blood. "I have personal experience with what kind of influences good and bad social workers can
have on someone," says Gonzales. "I want to be a positive influence and I want to make a difference."
After high school, Gonzales, a native of Ohio, turned down scholarships to Ohio State University and Notre
Dame to take care of a sick family member. After a few years of being on his own he has refocused his life
and now has given education top priority in his life.
"At WCC I am diligent in my studies. It's like being at a first class university, with the high caliber
of individuals teaching here."