College Adrian


My college career required extending myself in ways I never knew someone could. College was easy, or at least passing my classes with As was. The difficulties I faced were limited resources, from money to food. In addition, I was a naive 18-year-old that still had more to learn about the world. I did not know exactly where I was going, but I knew there were opportunities out there.

I moved to Las Vegas at the beginning of my freshman (grade 9) year and returned to my hometown, Corona, California, before the end of my junior year (grade 11). For this reason, I lost many credits that would go toward my graduation. I told myself I would not let the high school education system stop me from being who I wanted. I knew I had to create my own path. In fact, I realized this early on in high school and revolted by self-educating myself. First, I declined to turn in my work and take school exams. At the same time, I studied other materials in my class and tested my understanding with outside projects. When I finished high school, all I had was an education but not a diploma.

I did not qualify for financial aid without a high school diploma. I had to pay for my college entirely out of pocket. This was realized in my first college semester. I spent all the money I had on books and other living costs (like food, transportation, etc.). I was penniless by the middle of the semester. Coming from a humble background, I could not rely on my family for financial support. Yet, I persevered and sought opportunities everywhere I could find.

To put absolute focus on my education, I opted not to work any jobs. My reason was that I had to focus only on professional development activities if I wanted to compete with others with unlimited resources. I was adamant about spending all my time studying and only engaging in activities that would benefit my entrepreneurial career. I was very involved in my community during college. All but one of my college achievements were outside the parameters of my school. I created my own path.

Japan Trip (Kakehashi 2013)

21 colleagues and I were selected out of 40,000 students in the Riverside Community College District (RCCD) to attend a 10-day Japanese student experience tour in June 2013. The Japanese government sponsored this tour to promote mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the United States. We visited various locations throughout Japan, including museums, fisheries, businesses, and landmarks.

I will always be grateful to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its commitment to this mission. The tour had a jam-packed itinerary and must have been very expensive for them. The Japanese government paid for plane tickets to Japan, food, hotels, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. In fact, I made it through the trip with only $200 in my pocket from donated money. I used this money for souvenirs and relationship-building.

Although I had a busy schedule, I made time to organize other activities along the way. For instance, I hosted night parties with many Japanese students I met through the tour. Many of these students are friends with me to this day. In addition, I ventured out of my hotel during the trip to coordinate a pickup soccer game with locals. Several colleagues and new-found friends came along for the adventure.

My trip to Japan was more than an experience; it was a spark toward a more prosperous future for myself. This was my first trip outside North America. I learned a lot about Japanese culture and to accept that there are always different ways of doing things. I gained further confidence and expanded my entrepreneurial vision to include international trade. As my trip was coming to an end, I thought to myself, “I will be back.”

Cuefy (not the same as iCuefy)

In 2014, I founded Cuefy with Roy Anguino as the co-founder. Cuefy is a combination of the word “cue” and the acronym “fy” (for you). Together, Cuefy means “Cue for you.” Cuefy was a real-time communication platform for college students and professors. The platform allowed professors to create private groups that students could subscribe to for instant text messaging notifications. Groups could only be found with a unique code to protect student privacy. Professors would provide the unique code in their class syllabus at the beginning of the semester. My goal was to provide a platform allowing professors to communicate easily with their students.

A classmate and I conceived this idea after arriving at a canceled class. If a class were canceled at my college, students would only find out once arriving on campus. Through a brainstorming session, the Cuefy concept was created. I had always dreamed of developing a mobile application during high school and was very motivated after having experienced a 10-day trip to Japan earlier in the year. My classmate, unfortunately, was not motivated and did not want to put in the work. I did not let this stop me and proceeded to ask random students throughout my college if they would be interested in working on this concept. Roy Anguiano appeared motivated and able to assist in developing an MVP. We immediately became partners and founded Cuefy together.

I strongly felt that Roy and I would need a private office to succeed. This was at a time when I had zero dollars to my name. However, I did not let that stop me from acquiring office space. That office space was in my room. Since my room was small, I had to decide whether or not to throw away all my bedroom furniture and replace it with office furniture. I did not hesitate to turn my room into an office space. Most of the office furniture was donated by family and friends. All the odds were against me. Still, I persevered and used all the resources available.

As CEO of a two-person startup, I also had to serve as the product manager and product marketer. My role was to develop the business plan and core documents. I also created marketing materials and a presentation for my college. Roy was in charge of developing and testing the MVP. We later recruited several students to assist with design and development. In addition, we were able to hire a hacker to ensure our MVP was secure. At the same time, several startup and business advisors provided consulting and mentoring. We spent 2 months sprinting our task using all our available time. Most of us slept very little, if at all. This was a fun experience full of sleepless nights.

After completing our MVP, Roy and I spent the next several weeks presenting our MVP and business plan to our college and anyone in town who would listen. We met with our college leadership, government leadership (politicians apparently were interested in technology, too), and local business owners. Although this may be true, the Cuefy business model was short-lived after identifying other opportunities in my community.

Cuefy Reimagined

Cuefy developed a following, and naturally, we became the go-to people for technology consulting for many non-profit and business owners in our community. Initially, Roy and I attempted to partner with a local web development agency. Our goal was to continue focusing on Cuefy while having our partner fulfill orders for a commission. Unfortunately, the agency attempted to sidestep us. As an early-stage startup, we could not afford to lose this revenue potential and decided to offer the service ourselves. This was when Cuefy shifted its mission and provided web and mobile development services. The shift was unintentional and occurred organically.

If I could go back in time and keep us on course with our initial mission, I would keep everything the same. Larger market players like Blackboard would have crushed Cuefy. Blackboard already had a feature-packed platform, and they evidently would have been able to develop a similar concept. I met and learned from hundreds of business owners and community leaders by offering web development services. Many businesses provided tours of their operations and revealed lots of backend information, from finances to proven market strategies. Moreover, Roy was able to practice his development skills, later providing him employment opportunities with some of the largest tech companies in the world.

All good things must one day come to an end. After several years of practice with Cuefy, it was time for Roy and I to seek outside opportunities. This was when DIY website builders grew in popularity, and I believed we would eventually lose our market share. Cuefy was later sold for an undisclosed price in 2016. I would later purchase the rights to Cuefy (without their client list) and rebrand to iCuefy in 2019. Cuefy was transformational for both of us and will always serve as the first stepping stone to the tech world.

International Relations Council of Riverside (IRC)

The International Relations Council of Riverside (IRC) facilitates visits with international leaders and dignitaries with their sister city program. The IRC has nine sister cities across the globe, including Sendai, Japan. Sendai was a city I toured in 2013 through Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kakehashi program.

My IRC story commenced shortly after arriving home from my trip to Japan a year earlier. The Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles invited my colleagues and me for a welcome-back reception a week after my arrival. As a condition to partake in the experience, we were required to travel on a school district bus with leaders from Riverside. On my way home, I overheard a member of the Sendai Committee, the committee overseeing Riverside’s relationship with Sendai, express his desire to create a digital strategy for the organization. I was at the back of the bus and quickly jumped to the front to capture the opportunity. We connected, and I was later invited to a Sendai Committee meeting.

The meetings were held in Riverside City Hall. This was the first time I was exposed to a government office. My first role with the Sendai Committee involved managing our social media account. While this differed from what I wanted to do, I was enthusiastic about participating however I could. This allowed me to connect with committee members and demonstrate my abilities. I continued attending monthly meetings with the Sendai Committee for several months.

Cuefy provided me with many opportunities in my community. After shifting Cuefy’s strategy from a communication system to a web and mobile development business, I quickly acted to present the Sendai Committee with a web development plan for the IRC. The IRC would later invite me to a board of directors meeting to pitch my proposal. The IRC president rallied around and eventually approved my proposal. For the next several months, I shadowed and assisted the IRC president with his IT needs.

The IRC started my journey in international relations. With the IRC, I was able to connect with dignitaries throughout Southern California. I frequented many foreign relationship organizations and had the opportunity to meet congressmen, state senators, assemblymembers, mayors, and city councilmen. I learned a lot about the inner workings of government with the IRC. The IRC often leads projects in the community that involve a combination of business owners and community leaders. The IRC proved to be a transformative moment in my career.

Task Force to Make Riverside an International Student-friendly City (2014)

As a non-board member of the IRC, the most prominent project involved providing leadership to the Task Force to Make Riverside an International Student-friendly City. The task force’s primary objective was to develop an action plan to make Riverside known as a city where international students are provided exceptional experiences. The task force focused on housing, safety, banking, transportation and entertainment, and a sense of belonging. This was not a student-run task force. Riverside’s top leaders coordinated this task force. Every surrounding University sent a student leader to represent them. As a representative of the IRC, I was the only student on the task force there for non-student business.

Board of Directors and IT Committee

I was invited to join the board of directors of many organizations, from chambers of commerce organizations to governmental bodies. The IRC board of directors was my first choice due to its connection with Sendai. I was inaugurated to the IRC Board of Directors in 2015. I chaired the IT Committee for the IRC. Former Mayor of Riverside, Dr. Ronald Loveridge, served on my committee. The IT Committee allowed me to connect with other government agencies.

My Exit

I departed the IRC organization in early 2016 to put complete focus on my entrepreneurship endeavors. I will always be grateful to the IRC for their support through the early years of my life. This was at a time when I was discovering myself as a person. It was a privilege working with government and community leaders. As a first-generation business owner, I was naive about the world then. With experience, I have learned that my role in life is in entrepreneurship, not government. There are three ways you can serve your country; militarily, politically, and economically. I am choosing the economic fight.

Invitation by Local Congressman

I was invited for a 1-hour private meeting with Congressman Mark Takano and his staff in October 2014. The Congressman helped facilitate my trip to Japan in 2013. For this reason, I will always be grateful to the Congressman. After the trip, my college district selected 2 of the 22 students from the Japan trip to speak with Congressman Takano. They merely received a 5-minute call from him. I was the only student invited to the Congressman’s office. This was mainly due to my community involvement with the IRC. I accomplished this by creating my own path. This meeting helped reinforce my confidence in my abilities.

This is not an endorsement of the Congressman. I am an entrepreneur and will work with leaders from both sides of the aisle. My only hope is for the Congressman to engage in pro-business policies.

Riverside Sister City Sendai, Japan Visit (May 2015)

I was honored to lead a delegation to Sendai, Japan, in May 2015 for Riverside, California. Just two years earlier, I was a guest of Sendai, but as a student. This time, I was privileged to visit Sendai as a delegation leader representing a city government. No person in history has led a delegation to Sendai while being a student except for me. The Japanese government employed a personal translator to guide me throughout Sendai. Japan initially planned a 7-day trip, but I extended my stay by another seven days to connect with friends I made on my first trip. Riverside and Sendai have been sister cities since 1957 and hold the record for the longest continuous sister relationship in the United States.

The City of Riverside was overwhelmingly front and center throughout Sendai’s festivities. My delegation was always placed in the front of every line and was greeted with thunderous applause on my arrival to meet the Mayor of Sendai. Riverside imagery was all over the city, from a large monument in front of Sendai City Hall to public buses with large decals. I was awestruck to learn how much Sendai valued its relationship with Riverside. Sendai was receptive and catering to every minute of my trip.

In 2011, Sendai was devasted by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. Overall, the damage in Japan was estimated to be nearly 200 billion dollars, and the death toll neared 20,000 innocent lives. A tsunami reached over 6 miles into Sendai, destroying several protective tsunami seawalls. On March 21, 2011, the City of Riverside donated $100,000 and rallied the County of Riverside (California) to contribute an additional $50,000. With private donations, the total money raised by Riverside was $589,471.64.

The Mayor of Riverside was scheduled to visit Sendai the following month after my visit. The Sendai Committee and me, the Riverside delegation leader, helped prepare our Mayor’s visit with Sendai city staff. Most of the plan had already been created by the Mayor’s office. I was there to present the plan for approval. This meeting helped me understand how to coordinate visits between governments.

Tohuku University, located in Sendai and one of Japan’s most prestigious universities, is a close partner of the University of California, Riverside (UCR). With friends I made from my trip two years earlier, I planned a 2-day stay with Tohuku University students after my 7-day delegation mission. I coordinated this stay without UCR and Tohouku University. It was a privilege to spend time with my friends from Japan in a more relaxed environment. Today, many of my contacts have become business leaders, from entertainment to space technology companies.

All in all, I was glad to return to Japan a second time. This trip had a profound effect on my development as a professional. I learned how to be a statesman and a good government representative. There is a lot more to write about this trip. I will save stories of this trip for another time. By creating my own path, I returned to Japan, but this time, as a leader.


RageHub was a lifestyle brand on a mission to bring lasting experiences to college-aged students. We envisioned offering swag, event services, merchandise, video entertainment, and more. The brand identity was developed to perceive the company as the “cool kids on the block” with class. To accomplish this, I studied the concept of cool, specifically with millennials. My team and I developed a standard that included a clothing style guide, a word guide, and a vibe guide. RageHub helped me better understand how to position a brand as being “cool.”

After leaving the IRC and Cuefy, I felt out of touch with my college peers. Every waking day involved serving a leadership position, and I was accustomed to working only with real-world stuff. Over time, I felt disconnected from my student self, like I had grown up too fast. I was honored to receive the confidence of so many organizations and leaders in my community. But I felt I had to roll in the mud a little longer. It had only been three years since I worked at an egg factory. As a first-generation business owner, I still had much more to learn.

At this point, I had helped hundreds of businesses and non-profits with their technology and marketing needs. I did not want to be a service provider in life and wanted to create innovations in other industries. To identify opportunities, I founded RageHub with a group of friends. Our focus was learning millennial buying behaviors and market trends, primarily in Riverside County. Before resuming my entrepreneurial career, I wanted to understand my generation’s buying behaviors. I did not want to be in a future meeting and be embarrassingly unknowledgeable about this subject.

Our team worked extensively to develop various MVP plans. We never intended to execute any of our projects. All but one plan was officially implemented. The areas we covered included:

  • Sports
  • Entertainment
  • Marketing Solutions
  • Digital Applications
  • Community Outreach
  • Activism 


RageHub explored opportunities in the Riverside County sports industry and selected recreational soccer as our focus. I spent most of my childhood on a soccer field due to my father’s obsession with soccer. My father played soccer several times a week. I usually always tagged along and eventually played soccer alongside my father at age 13. Having moved many times throughout my childhood, I had the opportunity to experience recreational soccer leagues in different markets in California and Nevada. As a longtime consumer, I developed domain experience in the recreational soccer market. Given these points, developing a business plan for an adult soccer league was a natural choice. This plan was later used as an early foundation for FC Riverside County. FC Riverside (founded in 2018) was successfully acquired in 2023 for an undisclosed price.

This plan is not publicly available. All documentation is proprietary to Sports Operations of America. Sports Operations of America, through FC Riverside County, successfully developed numerous services with a product-market fit, including youth soccer training, youth soccer leagues, various adult soccer league iterations, adult flag football leagues, and video game leagues. Each service has a defined customer journey with associated materials (with proven messaging) for each step. I can help you develop a full-fledged sports program with Sports Operations of America. There is a $250 hourly rate for my service with a 20-hour minimum. Having your organization up and running would not take more than 30 hours. To inquire about this service, please email


RageHub conceived two entertainment ideas. Our first idea was a music festival business targeting community colleges. This business would mimic my earlier teen nightclub event business with a mix of the frat culture found in universities. I passionately declined to start up this plan due to my values. This project taught me how a brand can create a “cool” event marketing strategy. View the plan below.

RageHub also planned a FIFA Tournament event series to explore opportunities in the video game market. Although I never intended to launch this plan, this event almost occurred. This project was unsuccessfully launched due to excessive permit requirements from the city. The costs and inconvenience of acquiring proper permits outweighed the benefits. This concept was later used for the Aros E-Sports League, a multi-state e-sports league with a subscription model. Although this project did not launch, I learned how to host a community event with proper permitting. View the event proposal below.

Marketing Solutions

The SwagBag was a marketing solutions concept. Our team planned to distribute branded bags, named SwagBags, full of all necessary school supplies and other “fun items” to students for free. Our vision was to have every item in the SwagBag sponsored by a business, and in return, they would be given ad space on an item. RageHub would have designed all items to ensure students kept them; we wanted them to look cool, not boring. The SwagBag brand was intended for college-age millennials. This project taught me how to create better-designed marketing equipment and materials to avoid waste. View the plan below.

Digital Applications

The SnapChat Experience was designed to create a reality show using SnapChat featuring the party life of university students. This project developed several shows with a high engagement rate. Similarly to RageHub’s event business, I opted not to proceed further with this project due to my values. This project helped me better understand how to create high-engagement content for brands using a story series. Read my plan below.

Community Outreach

To reach the Hispanic market, I conceived the La Casita concept. La Casita is a portable food stand serving Hispanics in high-density areas where Hispanics walk by. High-density areas include swap meets, concerts, community events, and churches. La Casita stands could then distribute other materials, including marketing promotions. I worked on this idea knowing the market was saturated. Yet, I visited many swapmeets and marketplaces with similar concepts to further my understanding of the Hispanic consumer.


I ran for student trustee of Riverside Community College District (RCCD), a districtwide student leadership position in 2016. RCCD has a total of 3 collleges, Riverside Community College (RCC), Moreno Valley College (MVC), and Norco College. The student trustee role is the most prominent student executive position of RCCD. Other RCCD student executive positions include three student presidents; 1 president for each college in the district. I declined to run for a student president position because I felt it would be too easy and ultimately would win. I never intended to win the student trustee election. My mission was to learn about the dynamics of activism and political campaigns for brand-building opportunities and lobbying. 

First, I developed messaging based on the most trendy political topics at the time. Then, I used A/B testing to test the viability of my messaging and strategy. MVC was used as the controlled variable. I did not campaign at MVC and merely relied on my candidate statement at the voting polls. RCC was my first variation consisting of speeches at many classes and school clubs, flyer distribution throughout the campus, and email campaigns. Norco College was my second variation consisting of a similar strategy employed at RCC. The difference was that many Norco College students knew who I was while unfamiliar with RCC students. I took all my classes at Norco College. 

My performance on an individual college level was as follows:

  1. MVC – Won
  2. RCC – Won
  3. Norco College – Lost

At the time of my election, the student population of each college was as follows (to the nearest ten thousand); RCC with 20,000, MVC with 10,000, and NC with 10,000 students. The trustee position is awarded to the candidate who receives the most districtwide votes. While I won both MVC and RCC, cumulatively, I lost by a total of 10 votes. 

After looking further at the results and conditions of the election, I determined an anomaly. I lost to a student that was very active with the student government of my home college. Like me, this individual campaigned heavily at RCC but lost significantly. Even though he campaigned at MVC, he lost by a wide margin. However, he won substantially at my home campus, surpassing my total votes. This made me suspicious about the results.

Having investigated further, I learned that his friends managed the voting booth at my home campus and rallied students throughout voting to vote for him. I was contemptuous of these results because I did not have to serve in this position. For this reason, I decided to leave the results unchallenged. I was very happy for the winner and wished him the best after the election.

Overall, this campaign proved to be successful for me. I developed a deeper understanding of coordinating a campaign, from working with volunteers to engaging in sensitive topics with the public. In addition, I proved that I could develop viable political messaging. I have zero interest in politics and continue to focus on entrepreneurship. With this experience, I better understand the dynamics of activism and political campaigns for brand-building opportunities and lobbying. 

Read More: Where I am today – Before Age 30