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1st-gen college grad now heading PSU program & helping women through new boutique

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Years of dreaming and goal setting are paying off big time for a Pitt State grad. Her journey started years ago in Mexico with a father who wanted more, leading to a daughter who’s a first-generation college graduate.

“We are at my new storefront Three Degrees limited here in Pittsburg,” said Sandra Cobos Schroeder, Pittsburg.

Sandra Cobos Schroeder is still easing into her new boutique, which is not just any shop.

“It’s not. I wanted to open it to be able to give back to the students that I work with, and to women who I saw needed some help. So that’s really the meaning behind it,” she said.

Sandra is tapping into her love of business casual clothing. Three Degrees is open part-time, just three days a week.

“We donate part of our profits back to the community and specifically women and children in need,” said Sandra.

Challenges she can relate to. Sandra immigrated from Mexico at the age of nine, with her father wanting something more for his family. That included a college education, which for Sandra meant Pitt State.

“I looked at a lot of colleges. And when I came to Pitt State something just felt right. To this day, I can’t tell you what it is but I remember walking around campus and feeling like this is it,” she said.

She got a bachelors in psychology and Spanish, then a masters and an EDS, and had her daughter Luna along the way.

“She really was the motivation to keep pursuing higher degrees. Once she was born, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and just being aware of the developmental delays that could be a result of her condition. I decided that I wanted to be the best advocate, I could be for her,” Sandra said.

Luna has made tremendous progress.

“She’s just so incredibly smart. I’m very proud of how far she’s come.”

And her professional life is hitting a new milestone. After working at K-12 schools, Sandra is now the director of the PSU school psychology program.

“And I look forward to training other school psychs and sharing with them the passion about the field,” she said.

Which leaves her with a full-time job and a part-time boutique, not to mention 24/7 responsibilities as a mom.

“It’s been hard, but it’s been very fulfilling. And I recognize the opportunities I’ve had along the way, though. I didn’t do it alone. And that’s my purpose. I want to empower other women to know that they can do it too,” she said.

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