Entrepreneur, pianist, trouble-shooter, Wildwood pioneer
When Victor Peraza ‘04 gets an idea in his head, there’s not much that can stop him.
For example, when he was 19, he decided to buy a house. No matter that he was a student at University of California, Riverside. Or that he had only just started his career in computer technology. Victor wanted a house, and that was that.
“Coming to Wildwood changed my thinking about so many things,” he says. “I realized I could make things happen. Like the house. I used the approach I learned at Wildwood: I developed an action plan and collected my evidence.”
He got the house, and still owns it. In the process, however, Victor had to draw on another Wildwood skill: that of flexibility.
Victor’s tight-knit family was going through rough times. His parents both came to the United States from Guatemala; his dad works at a furniture manufacturer and his mom is a housekeeper. When troubles hit, Victor realized that being a student, an employee, a homeowner, and a family member was taking its toll. He put school on hold so he could be there for his brother, sister, and parents.
“I had all these responsibilities, and I thought I was handling it pretty well,” he recalls. “But my family situation put a wrench in my college plans.”
Now, after a two-year hiatus, Victor is back to the books. He’s working toward an associate’s degree at Pierce College, and plans to get a master’s degree in computer science. When he’s not studying, he and a partner are running their own company, Nova Technologies, a technology consultancy based in Riverside that offers tech support, network design, and computer engineering to a growing list of clients.
Once again, Victor credits Wildwood—and the financial aid that allowed him to attend—for setting him on his course. Victor enrolled at Wildwood as a freshman and was a member of the first senior class. “At the end of four years, I was a completely different person,” he says of his Wildwood days. “I was confident, and that confidence has allowed me to do what I need to succeed.”
Victor found his passion for technology at Wildwood. He interned with a tech company during 11th and 12th grade, and says the experience helped him realize, “this is what I want to do.”
He didn’t limit himself to the tech world. Victor took advantage of all the opportunities Wildwood presented. He was on the baseball team and played piano for the jazz band. And he learned how to give presentations—a skill that has proven invaluable in his role as business owner.
“If I could meet the families who supported financial aid through the Annual Fund, I would say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” says Victor. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t received help to come here to learn.”
The Annual Fund supports financial aid for deserving students like Victor. You can make the difference in a student’s life. Click here to make an Annual Fund gift or pledge today.