Meet Detective Reyes-Mendoza…
Well, not yet. Police work is Gold Beach man’s dream.
If you visit the Curry Campus in Brookings, you just might meet Augusto Reyes-Mendoza. He is concentrating on his education at the Curry Campus to achieve his Associate of Applied Science degree. From here, he plans to enter the Criminal Justice program at Western Oregon University. “After I’m a police officer and I get some experience, I’d like to become a detective. You need a college education for that,” says Augusto.
How did his interest in this career path begin? At an aquarium in California of all places. “I was about 12. We were coming out of the aquarium and we saw a police office trying to speak with someone who clearly didn’t speak English. The officer didn’t know Spanish. He was trying, but not succeeding. I decided then and there that I wanted to be able to help people in situations like that. I’m bilingual.” To get a first-hand view of police work Augusto has gone on ride-alongs with the Port Orford Police Department, and the Curry County Sheriff’s Department. “Ever since I was little I looked up to police officers.”
Born to immigrants who weren’t able to pursue an education beyond elementary school, Augusto’s parents have always encouraged him to go to college. They had to leave school young to work and help feed the family. Now his parents own La Casita De Oro Mexican Restaurant across from Gold Beach High School. “After school and homework I help out at the restaurant. It gives my parents a break so they can go have dinner before the evening rush.”
At 13, Augusto moved with his family from California to Gold Beach and admits that his English was not great. “High school was hard for me. My GPA was not great, but now that I’m in college my GPA is 3.5!”
Augusto attributes some of his success to the support he’s received from Curry Campus staff and faculty, and his ability to reach out. “Everyone knows me here at the school.”
Augusto has some advice to share, “I was worried I would fail at college. And yes, it can be hard sometimes but there are resources and people to help you. Going to college has helped me better myself in general. Don’t be afraid . . . go for it!”
He received financial help, too. Augusto received a Southwestern Foundation scholarship to help pay for tuition and college expenses.
Get started on your future! Contact the Curry Campus at 541-813-1667.