Each day for farmworkers is physically tiring, especially when the South Florida sun beats down. Many immigrant parents teach their children the value of such work from an early age while hoping their future will be away from the fields and packing houses.
The parents of Blanca Rosas, unable to attend school because of their need to support a family, can smile proudly as their daughter, one of four children, recently graduated from Miami-Dade College and is now at University of Central Florida. The first in her family to earn a degree, she completed her two-year Associate in Science from the Health Sciences/Nursing department with a focus in kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movements. She’s pursuing her Bachelor of Science with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer for a professional soccer team.
“I grew up loving soccer.
I didn’t know about kinesiology at first. It is a difficult field, but can open other doors even if I’m not with a sports team.”
As encouraging as her parents were, Rosas greatly credits the Mexican American Council (MAC) College and Career Readiness Program with her achievement. Living in the Redland Farmworker Community and attending South Dade Senior High School, she epitomizes the student to whom the MAC mission applies.
“To Ensure That Every FarmWorker Child Is Provided A Quality Education And Access To The Arts For A Brighter Future”.
“They were a constant inspiration to me in sharing their personal stories,” Rosas explained, “and programs like time management were very important. My parents didn’t have a high school experience to be able to help me.”
In addition to college preparation, MAC mentors assisted her with applying for and subsequently winning multiple scholarships to enable her to
attend UCF immediately after graduating with a 3.9 GPA from Miami-Dade College. She faced her own obstacles in high school and in receiving help, she in turn, spent time volunteering in the Title I Migrant Program and MAC programs.
“You have to prioritize your mental health and don’t let yourself be defined if you don’t do well on standard tests. I struggled with that and MAC guided me through it.”
Her abilities and enhanced confidence were clearly shown during her time at MDC as she was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, a scholastic honor society.
“Founded in 1918, it is the only internationally acclaimed honor society serving institutions which offer associate degree programs. The purpose is to recognize and encourage scholarship among associate degree students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa provides opportunity for the
development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate to exchange ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship among scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.”
Her advice to other students who may be wondering what path to follow?
“A lot of people say this, but dream big. When you do, you’re motivated; don’t settle for something you’re not passionate about.”
To learn more about courses available at Miami-Dade College, Homestead, visit https://www.mdc.edu/homestead To learn more about the MAC College and Career Readiness Program, see https://www.mexamcouncil.org