Actress Gina Rodriguez is basking in success now.
But the road wasn’t always smooth for the 29-year-old “Jane the Virgin” star.
When she was a junior at New York University, she developed thyroid disease, which caused her to miss more than the allowed number of days.
NYU lowered her grade, and she lost a scholarship, she said in an interview for the segment she did on AOL’s “My Hero” series.
“I wasn’t going to be able to go back senior year for college,” Rodriguez said in a preview video on justjared.com. “My sister put in the money” to help cover the deficit from the lost scholarship money.
“She said ‘It’s not going to happen. Where there’s a will there’s a way,’” Rodriguez recalled, referring to the notion of not being able to finish college.
“She’s a very honorable woman,” the actress said of her older sister, whom she surprised with a crew from AOL “My Hero,” which will air the segment featuring Rodriguez on Friday.
Besides being honored in the series, her sister was getting a makeover from Rodriguez’s “glam squad” as a thank you for her generosity.
Rodriguez graduated from the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Rodriguez often cites her family’s support for her success.
Earlier this year, she said making her family proud was the most important measure of success to her. The Chicago-born Rodriguez credits parents Genaro and Magali Rodriquez with instilling drive and positive self-esteem into her and her two older sisters.
"I'm not a self-made anything," she said, firmly. "My father made me look in the mirror and say, 'Today's going to be a great day. I can and I will.'"
Based on a South American telenovela — the deliciously over-the-top soap opera genre that also gave us "Ugly Betty" — "Jane the Virgin" is about a young woman who has clung to celibacy as instructed by a sternly loving grandmother and to further her own dreams of professional success.
Fate has other, crazy plans, and the still-virginal Jane finds herself pregnant. Chaos and comedy ensue, impeccably played out in the pilot starring Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva; Brett Dier as her rightly confused fiance Michael; Ivonne Coll as grandmom Alba and Andrea Navedo as Jane's high-spirited mother, Xiomara.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.