Seizing her moment
Student of the Week: Emily Puente
Struggling to return to college while managing work and life as a full-time mother, Emily Puente credits the dedication and enthusiasm of South Texas College faculty for inspiring her future career choice.
Originally from Chicago, Emily arrived to the Valley in her teens and attended Beta Academy. Upon graduating high school Emily said she attended STC but life happened and she became a mother at 20. She took time away from college to work and raise a newborn.
“I had originally wanted to become an RN but I wasn’t focused on my education as much as I should have been,” she said. “I wanted to come back after I had my son at 20 but it’s really hard to come back because there is not always someone around to help you. I had to wait for four years before I had the chance.”
Emily said she returned to college in the fall of 2018. When she returned, Emily decided to change her focus from nursing to computer networking and now plans to graduate by this summer. She is planning to receive an Associate of Applied Science in Networking Specialist (AAS-BCS-NETS).
“I changed my major and I was looking into IT but there’s so much to it,” she said. “It includes networking, cyber security, computer science, programming but I became highly interested in computer networking.”
“To students struggling to come back like I was, I would like to tell them that anything is possible as long as you change your mindset because there is always room for improvement."
The Associate of Applied Science in Networking Specialist enlists a number of Information Technology (IT) skills, starting with business productivity software and then adding a greater emphasis on advanced skills in computer networking through the Cisco Networking Academy.
Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to design, quote, set up, maintain, manage, and upgrade a network. In addition to the networking skills, students also learn technical skills in operating systems, server administration, and information security, while also being exposed to the use of computer virtualization.
Emily hopes to attend the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and earn her bachelor degree once she completes her associate by summer 2020. Inspired by faculty at STC, Emily said she would love to return to the college and teach students from a similar background.
“Seeing my professors not just in my IT field but in different subjects like English for example; there are some really great professors who are here because they love it so much and want to give back to students,” she said.
“To students struggling to come back like I was I would like to tell them that anything is possible as long as you change your mindset because there is always room for improvement,” she said. “And to my son I would like to tell him to try and always do the best he can, be kind to everyone where ever you go, and even if things do get hard, anything and everything can be done.”