Longtime employee Angelina earned degree through fast-food giant’s Archways to Opportunity program

By Mike Chaldu


When McDonald’s Area Supervisor Angelica Roca made a visit to the fast-food chain’s Buellton location on Friday, May 24, she figured it would be a routine visit. Eh, not quite.

What Roca came across as she walked through the door was a corner of the restaurant decked out with celebratory balloons and a cake. And also there stood, the restaurant’s Owner/Operator Victor Quiroz, who came up with the idea of a surprise party, holding a burgundy robe and mortarboard for her to wear.

It was all part of a surprise celebration for Roca, who recently earned her Associate of Science degree in business administration from Colorado Technical University through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program. 

Through the Archways to Opportunity program and a partnership with Colorado Technical University, McDonald’srestaurant employees can earn their associate or bachelor’s degree at little to no cost. 

Victor Quiroz (right), owner/operator of the Buellton McDonald’s, presents McDonald’s area supervisor Angelica Roca with a limited-edition McDonald’s varsity letterman jacket May 24 at a surprise party for Roca, who recently earned a degree through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program. Photo by Mike Chaldu

“I used the program to get my high school diploma, and a few years later decided to take a little farther,” Roca said.

Originally from Mexico, she came to the U.S. in 1998.

“I lived in the San Fernando Valley for about six years and then started at McDonald’s and moved around as I moved through the company,” she said.

Her graduation from the college program comes as McDonald’s is celebrating the incredible statistic that 1 in 8 Americans have worked at a McDonald’s restaurant.

During the celebration Roca was recognized as a member of the “1 in 8” and surprised with a limited-edition McDonald’s varsity letterman jacket. Also, Ethan Bertrand, representative for 37th District Assemblman Gregg Hart, honored her with a proclamation from Hart.

Roca started her McDonald’s journey as a crew member in 2004 within a McDonald’s Corporation-owned restaurant. She became a manager at a Palmdale restaurant, eventually making her way to Quiroz’s restaurant in Buellton. Before being promoted to supervisor, Angelica took advantage of McDonald’s educational opportunities for the first time to get her high school diploma. Angelica now has plans for pursuing her bachelor’s in science in human resources.

“One of the great things about working at McDonald’s is coming in contact with so many great people,” Roca said. “So I think human resources is a natural for me. And I’d like to do it with McDonald’s.”

Roca, who’s supervisor for the Buellton McDonald’s as well one in Paso Robles, lives in Ventura with her husband of 28 years. The couple has two adult sons

Quiroz said Roca’s progress through the company is a result of the kind of worker and person that she is.

“I’ve had Angelica since 2004, and she has always been an amazing, dedicated employee,” he said. “She’s always great with employees, and customers alike.”

”I am so proud of Angelica’s achievements and have no doubt she will continue to go far,” Quiroz said. “She is an inspiration to so many who work with her, and I look forward to continuing to support her education and career goals within McDonald’s and beyond.”