I came to the U.S. from Nicaragua at the age of four and grew up in Montgomery County. After graduating high school, I attended Montgomery College (MC) but eventually stopped due to full-time work responsibilities.
In the years to come, I always contemplated going back to complete my degree. I eventually returned to MC to finish my associate’s degree. During this time I became a facilitator for Liberty’s Promise, a nonprofit that supports young immigrants in need while encouraging them to be conscientious American citizens. I related to these high school students and shared the benefits of civic participation through chaperoning field trips to community resources. In order to continue cultivating my leadership abilities, I applied for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program and landed a paid intern position at the Library of Congress. Due to my arduous work ethic and interpersonal skills, I built a solid reputation and was offered a position in this Federal agency’s Finance and Administration division.
When it came time to search for a university to complete my bachelor’s degree, a counselor at MC recommended I take a look at the Universities of Shady Grove (USG). After attending an open house event, I was convinced the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) at USG was the right school for me given their abundance of scholarship programs and flexible schedule -- including hybrid and online courses -- that would allow me to remain in my Federal government position. Also, due to the Completion Scholarship offered to Maryland community college graduates, my tuition would be significantly reduced, and I would not leave school with the financial burden.
I am enrolled in the UMUC Bachelor of Science Accounting Program, and it has helped launch my accounting career in the government. I have learned work-ready skills to make an impact on the American people. Through obtaining my degree, I have built my knowledge base on auditing processes and have met and worked productively with peers on shared interests. In addition to being on the Dean’s List every semester, I have been selected for membership in the Alpha Sigma Lambda Tau Chapter Honor Society. Ultimately, I hope to apply my well-formed academic and employment growth to an accountant role, where I too can make a difference and give back to a country that has provided my family and me with the freedom to choose our own fates.