LearningRX Northeast Owner’s Path Comes Full Circle With Big Award
A profound moment nearly 30 years ago helped etch the path upon which Gina Cruz would ultimately follow, career-wise. Recently, that path came full circle with a first-of-its-kind business award and accomplishment marking years of service and advocacy for those who struggle with learning.
The year was 1992. Cruz was a PAL, or Peer Assistant and Leader, at her Houston-area high school. Gina came to know and greatly admire the teacher in charge of her high school’s Special Education Department. One afternoon, she even spoke to Cruz’s class about working with those who not only learn differently but may be low-functioning life-skills students, too. Cruz was intrigued. However, she was not ready for what would happen next.
One week later, Cruz’s teacher, the woman whose contributions to special education she admired dearly, was shot to death on campus, not far from where Cruz had been sitting. The teacher had been shot by her estranged husband.
“It was surreal,” remembers Cruz. “From that moment on I decided that I needed to continue this teacher’s legacy.”
So Cruz marched forward getting a degree in elementary education and special education from Texas State University, followed by a Montessori guide certification. She went on to get her Master’s degree in Special Education with an Educational Diagnostician certification.
While she enjoyed working with children with learning differences, Gina longed to make an influence on a larger scale and was reminded of some education-related work she did outside of the classroom, prior to teaching. One company she worked for offered services to help students with Dyslexia, ADHD, and similar disabilities. Once again, Cruz was intrigued. This experience and her passion for helping others led her to LearningRx. LearningRx brain training was developed around the scientifically proven information that the brain is changeable, and, when weak cognitive areas responsible for learning are exercised in a certain way, those areas can become stronger, making learning easier. This was just what she was looking for.
“I really wanted to be a part of something that allowed me to make a more permanent life difference,” Cruz says.
So Cruz took what she says was probably the greatest risk, certainly financially, in her life, and became a LearningRx franchise owner in the Stone Oak area of San Antonio.
That was 15 years ago, last month. It was a milestone that made Cruz the longest-running franchise owner in the company’s history. She received the first-ever award for her ownership, last month.
Cruz feels extremely fortunate. Her northeast center did well, quickly. The center continually ranks among the nation’s top centers. Cruz estimates that over a thousand different people have walked through her doors at LearningRx Northeast. Better yet, many, according to Cruz, return years later to say thank you and share success stories.
“I’m so proud of all of the lives we’ve changed,” Cruz acknowledges. “It’s been an honor to be used as a conduit of change for individuals and families across San Antonio.”
The journey to better learning and education for Cruz, however, is not yet at its end. It’s been ongoing since its start so many years ago. This past May Cruz proudly completed her Educational Specialist degree. Currently, Cruz is just a few courses away from obtaining a doctorate in educational psychology, or the study of how people learn.
Cruz has been attending school while running LearningRx, being a wife, and caring for her two nearly-grown children, one of whom has Cystic Fibrosis. Is her plate full? Absolutely. Does that stop her from pursuing God’s calling on her life? Absolutely not.
“I have many more goals to affect learning growth and promote change, on a larger, more systematic level,” remarks Cruz.
Having never forgotten the day she lost her beloved teacher, Cruz remains filled with a sense of purpose. One foot in front of the other, she continues to take steps towards achieving these goals and probably setting new ones. All, while maintaining her fervent trust in God to continue guiding her path towards helping others.