It started at on a Saturday morning in a conference room at the Phoenix campus in Gardena.
Tracy Bespflug says she knew exactly what she was doing when she signed up at the University of Phoenix.
"I did my research, so I certainly knew all of the criticisms that come along with University of Phoenix," she says.
"I'm not just here to get a piece of paper, I'm not here to just get a grade," he says.
"I'm here to improve my skills, obtain new knowledge." In February 2012, Farinosi and Bespflug organized a meeting for PACT members.
Farinosi is currently a Phoenix student, working on a bachelor's degree in global business management. He had been accepted at several universities but says his family couldn't afford the tuition. "I was a mortgage underwriter." He kept getting promoted, making good money, "doing so well I wasn't thinking about going back to school," he says.
He works as a security analyst for an international security firm. "That was probably one of the most disappointing parts of my life," he says. He moved on from the bank to other jobs in business and finance. He went from working as a partner in a real estate investment firm to working as a department manager at Office Depot. Farinosi needed a degree so he could build a new career.
"It felt impossible at the time for me to be that far away from home and to have this complete culture and environment and geographic change," she says. Bespflug was working in the research department of a hospital in Portland and she knew she needed a degree to move up. She was accepted to programs at public colleges and universities in Oregon, but the class schedules were a nightmare.
Bespflug went back to Oregon "with the good intentions of getting back to school." She started working full time and signed up for a few classes at a community college. "Eight plus years later I found myself thinking, 'Wow, I really need to [get a degree],'" she says. She would be going to school almost every night of the week, and it looked like some of the classes were only offered during the day.
He was told he would have to wait three months to get an appointment. His experience at the University of Phoenix was totally different.
He walked into the campus in Gardena, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, and saw a counselor immediately.