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America Ferrera Graduating From College After 10 Years

USMagazine, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 3:30pm (PDT)

America Ferrera will soon be able to add another title to her already-impressive resume: college graduate. The Ugly Betty actress, 29, is set to get her bachelor's degree in international relations on Friday, May 17, from the University of Southern California -- a goal that is now a decade in the making.

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Ferrera herself shared the happy news on Twitter. "I'm walking in my college graduation in 3 days from @USCDornsife!" she tweeted on Tuesday, May 14. "It's finally happening! Took me 10 years, but it feels great."

In response, USC Dornsife -- a.k.a. the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences -- offered its best wishes to the star. "Congratulations! You've worked hard to get to this moment," a tweet on the Dornsife account read. "Enjoy it! #fighton #TrojanFamily #uscgrad."

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According to a story about the actress on Dornsife's website, Ferrera started at USC in 2002 but took a leave of absence when she was offered the title role in ABC's Ugly Betty. She was initially torn between her desire to act and her ambition to enact change in the world, but a professor at the school told her she didn't have to choose.

"I always wanted to go to college and get my education, although I always wanted to be an actor," Ferrera told students at USC in 2012. "I never knew how those two things would work with each other, and this was revealed to me in my first year of college here."

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The actress' professor, David Andrus, told her a story about a young girl he had been mentoring who said that to understand her life, he needed to watch the movie Real Women Have Curves, which was one of Ferrera's first-ever films. "What my professor really wanted me to understand was that my passion for acting and what I loved doing in the world had the power to be a tool," Ferrera explained. "In that moment I realized that I didn't have to give up what I love. I could find a way to link it to other things that I cared about."

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: America Ferrera Graduating From College After 10 Years

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