Setting the Example
Student of the Week: Normalinda Ortiz
“It was close by and it’s very affordable. Once you get here, you discover what a close-knit community it is. The professors are helpful, the classes are small, and you get the attention you need.”
Running a business and raising three children who are learning from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic would be a challenge for anyone, let alone Normalinda Ortiz, a returning student at South Texas College who decided to go back to school to find a better career.
“I had been going off and on, taking a class here and there, since 2013, but the last three years I’ve been going full-time to make sure I reach my goals and stop procrastinating,” said Ortiz, who secured an associate degree last summer and graduates with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership later this spring.
“It’s been a challenge, definitely not a walk in the park with the children learning at home, me working at home, juggling who uses the computer and the issues with internet access,” said Ortiz, 36. “But the school provided a Chromebook and an iPad for the kids, and everything has been working out.”
Born at the Fort Hood Army base and raised in Mission, Ortiz enrolled in college after graduating from high school but left after one year when she became pregnant with her oldest child, a son who is now 16. She enrolled at South Texas College full time in 2018.
“It was close by and it’s very affordable,” said Ortiz, who was involved in a student club active in organizing fundraisers benefiting various community organizations. “Once you get here, you discover what a close-knit community it is. The professors are helpful, the classes are small, and you get the attention you need.”
She is also receiving a first-class education. The Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership is known for preparing innovative leaders for employment in an increasingly diverse technological and global society. Students hone their skills in leadership, ethics, communication, and collaboration. Courses include Human Resources Management, Organizational Behavior, Data Driven Decision-Making, Organizational Change, and Management Theory.
Ortiz said returning to school and earning her degrees was important also for the example it set for her family. “My motivation comes from my children,” she said. “I want to show them how important getting a good education is. And I want to expand my skills so I can provide the best I can for them.”
Why South Texas College?
“STC offers an excellent educational foundation and ample transfer opportunities,” said Ortiz. “This is a great place to start college. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences here.”