March 22, 2023

Education Empowers: Renee Rodriguez

In the fall of 2020, as the world faced a global pandemic, Renee Rodriguez was determined to help her son, Carlos Aragon, succeed as he started a Career & Technical Education program that would train him to work in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Needing a break from corporate life, Renee decided she’d help support and encourage her son, who was reluctant to enroll in school, by going back to school herself. Renee enrolled in a nail specialist program which uses Milady’s educational content.

However, tragedy struck Renee and her family when her son passed away in October 2020. Naturally, she took a break from school, but ultimately returned as she feels that he would have wanted her to finish. Initially, she had a difficult transition as an adult learner who had just experienced a great loss, but she worked hard to establish study habits that worked for her. She credits one of Cengage Group’s products, a digital learning tool called MindTap, as a contributor to her success.


Renee Quote Card 


Renee was impressed by the content provided by Milady. She not only learned skills that will help her get a job, but she also studied soft skills and completed personal development that will help her be successful in her new career. 

She appreciates the role technology played in her education. Speaking to the confidence Renee gained through her training, she notes, “since I was able to make mistakes in a digital environment, I am less likely to make them in the real world.” Being able to complete simulations before doing the work in person has helped her sharpen her skills.

We spoke to Renee about her experience returning to school to make a career change and what tools she used to achieve her goals: 


Learn more about how MindTap was “a complete game changer” and helped Renee grow her confidence and succeed in school: 



Renee kept her promise to her son that she would finish what they had started together. She completed her training and graduated at the top of her class. She now works on the weekends doing facials and nails. She appreciates the ability to make money doing something she loves. Renee is looking forward to continuing to grow and learn.

Renee Quote

Learn More 

From MindTap to ed2go and Infosec to Milady, Cengage Group’s products, services and content give students of all ages the choice in how, where and when they learn. Learn more about what we do at Cengage Group.  

Read More About How Education Empowers

If you enjoyed reading about Renee, explore more stories in our Education Empowers series:

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If you’re interested in working somewhere with jobs that make a difference, read about what it’s like to work at Cengage Group and check out our careers page for open roles.