Student of the Week: Griselda Pena
All my professors from the BASOL program were excellent and without their support, I don’t think I would be walking across the stage to receive that degree.
Those drawn to a career in leadership have to be ready to serve, according to Griselda Pena.
Coming back to college more than 20 years since leaving high school, Griselda said faculty with South Texas College’s Bachelor’s of Organizational Leadership (BASOL) program not only trained her to fight her fears, it also shaped how she plans to approach her career in the future.
“I came to realize that as a leader, you don't have people working for you. You actually work for them,” Griselda said. “Being enrolled in the BASOL program allowed me to evaluate my future and where I go from here.”
Now through the assistance of STC faculty and her family, Griselda was able to graduate with her bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership on May 7.
“I came to STC as an older student at the age of 39. I hadn’t been in school since I was 18 and fought hard to come back. With my older two boys now in college as well, they also encouraged me and pushed me and they actually helped me get into school,” Griselda said. “Going to school in the middle of a pandemic was crazy. I felt many times that I was going to give up but the support system that is given through the school helps you to continue. All my professors from the BASOL program were excellent and without their support, I don’t think I would be walking across the stage to receive that degree.”
The Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership is the first competency-based bachelor's degree from a Texas public institution that enables students to receive college credit for courses they have already taken and developed through work and life.
The degree focuses on skills that will help prepare students for a position of leadership in business, government, non-profit, or educational organizations. The upper-division courses enable students to solve real-world business problems and demonstrate new skills through a final project that will be part of their portfolio for future opportunities.
A longtime substitute teacher, Griselda said she now plans to resume her education in January 2023 by pursuing a master’s degree in Human Resources with a goal to further her career in school district administration.
“Coming back to school at my age, I learned to lock any fears away and ask questions,” she said. “I was the first generation of my family to come to college but my kids were the ones who helped me every step of the way to be where I am today.”