Mexican student overcomes language barrier, excels
Student of the Week: Mario Alberto Gomez
I became motivated through my time as a work study with Student Activities. Education opens the door to more opportunities, and I combined that with volunteering at the campus; I got to help others, while still learning.
From the Mexican city of Miguel Aleman, Mario Gomez first enrolled at South Texas College the fall of 2022; his first goal - motivate himself to overcome a language barrier, which he said was preventing him from reaching his educational goals.
The STC Starr County campus student was determined to succeed, even though he knew little English. Gomez said he quickly came up with ways to get involved and began to volunteer with the campus’ Student Activities department.
He said the department played a huge role in his transition at the college.
“I became motivated through my time as a work study with Student Activities,” said Gomez. “Education opens the door to more opportunities, and I combined that with volunteering at the campus; I got to help others, while still learning.”
With some schooling from Mexico as a programming technician, Gomez used his computer knowledge to enter the STC’s Office Administration program for an office specialist certificate with the hopes of moving on to a degree in graphic design, architecture or criminal justice.
STC’s Office Administration program, formerly Administrative Office Careers, provides technical training for students so they enter the workforce with knowledge that has been developed in consultation with business, institutional and industrial employers.
“Everything at STC has been new to me. I didn’t know any English and all through my first semester I used Google Translate, but I told myself, ‘I have to overcome this, I have to do right,’” Gomez said. “With the help of Student Activities, I started to communicate more with staff who have helped me so much and have made me feel welcome. As a student I can say, instructors are attentive, and there’s a great quality of education here because it’s obvious that they care about you.”
Gomez said he plans to complete his office specialist certificate in the fall and will continue at STC to pursue an associate degree, and has a message for others who may be in a situation like his.
“To other students who have faced challenges like me, always have your future in mind. Education is important in life, and to be someone in life, you must be prepared to work hard be independent,” he said.