The culture at HCC fostered an environment of success and allowed me to put my life on a completely different path. It opened doors for me that would have remained closed. I am a proud 3rd generation Tampa native and have never once considered living (even temporarily) anywhere else. HCC was, in my opinion, the only real option for me. My parents were children of immigrants from Sicily, Spain and Cuba. Their parents were cigar workers who did not speak English. Unfortunately, attending college was not something they were able to experience. Therefore, they did not really understand or stress to my brother and I the importance of a college degree. The only school I applied to was HCC. My parents were so proud that I was going to college and that HCC allowed me to remain at home and was, financially, within our means.
As an HCC alumna, I want to be sure that students, like me, who have the desire and ability to learn and equip themselves with knowledge that completely change their journey, are not precluded from realizing their dreams and full potential for financial reasons. As Chairman of the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Committee in the early 2000’s, I helped establish three endowments and also helped fundraise for scholarship endowments at HCC and USF for students who lack the financial means to further their education.
Today, I am a proud civil servant, working with the City of Tampa for over 30 years. I currently serve as the Chief of Administration for the Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management Department.