ASU online program helps Navy veteran pursue lifelong dream

After graduating from the School of Molecular Sciences, Anthony Pacheco is ready to take the next step in his education

June 8, 2021

Anthony Pacheco knew since the third grade that he wanted to be a lawyer. He enjoyed debating and he loved fighting to help others. Now, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences online program, Pacheco is ready to take the next step in his education.

Pacheco, who grew up in California, first attended college immediately after high school. Nuclear machinist mate Anthony Pacheco Download Full Image

“After my first year of college, I realized the university I was attending wasn’t the right fit for me,” he said.

After considering his options, Pacheco decided to serve his country prior to returning to college.

“I think it’s great to give back to your country, and for me, that was joining the Navy.”

Pacheco served in the Navy for seven years as a nuclear machinist mate on the submarine USS Jacksonville. While in the Navy, Pacheco continued to work on his degree through various online universities. Making progress was a challenge because he had to withdraw from classes while being deployed for months at a time. However, Pacheco never gave up his dream of finishing his bachelor’s degree and attending law school.

Upon leaving the military in 2019, Pacheco enrolled in ASU’s online program.

“The School of Molecular Sciences has a fantastic online program,” Pacheco said. “By focusing on two classes at a time it allowed me to continue a full-time job and to be a successful full-time student. It was a great fit.”

Now that Pacheco has graduated from ASU, he is prepared to pursue a degree in law. He has been accepted and will attend Pepperdine University in the fall. Pacheco has interests in intellectual property law but also wants to advocate for prison reform.

Building upon the lessons he learned in the Navy and at ASU, Pacheco will continue to put into practice advice he shares with others: “Don’t get discouraged if things aren’t going as well as you’d like. Persevere. Keep planning and moving forward, and eventually you will reach your goal.”

See a photo album of School of Molecular Sciences students who have served in the military.

James Klemaszewski

Science writer, School of Molecular Sciences