It’s never too late

Karla Zavala and Angela Hernandez Rivas. (Photo by Amanda Nelson)

Karla Zavala and Angela Hernandez Rivas. (Photo by Amanda Nelson)

Angela Hernandez Rivas and Karla Zavala are students at Keiser University. Both ladies have recently been inducted into the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society. Delta Mu Delta is an international business honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities. Students must have a 3.5 GPA to be inducted.

Together, Angela and Karla are proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and further your education. Take a few moments to learn a little more about two of our local women who have persevered and chosen to never stop learning.

Angela Hernandez Rivas is the proud daughter of Israel and Martha Hernandez. LaBelle has always been home to her and her family. She was very active in school, playing sports such as volleyball, basketball, and softball. Angela graduated with honors from LHS in 1995. After graduation, she enrolled at Edison Community College (now known as Florida Southwestern State College).

One year later she got married, and shortly thereafter was blessed with a son. Now being a wife and mother it was difficult continuing to go to college, it was Angela’s promise to her parents that she would continue her education and get a degree that kept her going. She fulfilled that promise and received her Associates Degree in Arts on April 30, 1999.

At that time in her life, Angela’s priority was to her children. She decided to put continuing her education on hold until her children were older. Her son graduated with honors from LaBelle High School (LHS) in 2015 and her daughter is currently a sophomore at LHS.

Last summer, with the support of her husband, children, parents, and siblings, Angela decided that she would return to school and pursue her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Keiser University. As one can imagine, many things have changed since 1999 leaving Angela excited but also very nervous.

Having always been a strong and motivated individual, she was determined to be the best she could be. On August 15, 2015, it was with great honor and pride that Angela Rivas was inducted into the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.

Angela will graduate from Keiser University in December of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship. Upon obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she is considering obtaining her MBA (Masters Business Administration). She is currently the Business Manager for Stroemer & Company, LLC, a full service Certified Public Accounting Firm where she has worked for the past 12.5 years.

Angela’s message to all is “NEVER give up on yourself, stay in faith as it is NEVER too late to be all that God has created you to be!”

Karla Zavala was born in a small town in Mexico. Her parents decided to move to the United States when she was about seven years old. She has been living in LaBelle ever since.

Karla graduated from LaBelle High School in 2012 but did not enroll in college until the summer of 2013. She was raised in a household where all of her family members value great work ethics.

Having a full time job and being a college student can be challenging. Karla graduated from Florida Southwestern State College with her Associates Degree in January of 2016. Today, she is the office manager at the State Farm office in LaBelle. She is also a full time student at Keiser University working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Finance.

Keiser’s flexible schedule has allowed Karla to keep her full-time job and stay on track to receive her degree in just two years.

On August 15, 2015, Karla hard work paid off and she was also inducted into Delta Mu Delta. She notes “being a part of this honor society is such an accomplishment but knowing that I am making my family proud, has to be one of the greatest feelings.”

Angela and Karla want others to know that it truly is never too late to continue your education. Although they have had to make some sacrifices over the years, they both know that it will all be worth it in the end. Hard work and determination really do pay off.

Amanda can be reached at

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