“HCC gave me the foundation to achieve the impossible. It allowed me to help my family financially and to coach others, who like me, dare to dream.”

— Betty Viamontes, Chief Financial Officer, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research

I left Cuba at the age of fifteen and arrived in the United States on shrimp boat carrying with me dreams of a better life and little else. Seven years later, with a three-year-old son and a full-time job, I enrolled at Hillsborough Community College knowing that a college degree was my only chance at success. The language barrier combined with financial difficulties made a university education an impossibility. But HCC made it possible. At first, I set my sights on earning an accounting certificate. It was a struggle, but with small class sizes and inspirational professors, I did it. That success gave me the confidence to pursue an A.S. degree and to transfer to the University of South Florida where I earned a B.A. in accounting, a master’s degree in Accounting, and an MBA. I also became a CPA. HCC opened doors that that I didn’t think possible and led to a wonderful career. I worked as the Corporate Controller at Tampa General Hospital for 22 years. I’ve published four books, including an Amazon #1 bestseller. And in 2015, Governor Scott appointed me to the HCC Board of Trustees. For me, HCC will always be the place where all dreams are possible.