In 2008, Ruth Diaz Ortega came to the United States from the Dominican Republic to be reunited with family members who had already immigrated to the US. When they arrived, no one, including Ruth, spoke any English!
Having been an honor student in the Dominican Republic, it was difficult for Ruth not to be able to speak, read or understand the local language. But she had dreams of going to college. So after working diligently in ESL classes and with much self-determination, Ruth found her way to Quinsigamond Community College. There, QCC staff recommended that she come to the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) for career and educational advising services and assistance in applying for financial aid.
Ruth’s goal was to study radiology, but the college told her she had to be placed on a waitlist to enter the Radiology Program and the waitlist was long! She would need to enter a liberal arts program and take many prerequisites to be eligible.
Over two and one-half years, EOC advisors guided Ruth through the steps she needed to take each semester. They wanted to ensure she was taking the courses necessary to increase her eligibility for the radiology program.
“At times I got very discouraged,” says Ruth, “but my EOC advisors always encouraged me to stay motivated and continue to study and work hard. I am so happy to say that I was recently accepted into the radiology program! I couldn’t believe it! So many times I thought it would not happen. Without the guidance and encouragement of my EOC advisors, I would not be where I am today!”
“I send my whole family and my friends to EOC,” she adds. Some need ESL classes or a GED class and others are like me – they want to earn a college degree. EOC has been wonderful to us all. It doesn’t matter your age or what your goals are. They help us all. They showed me that with hard work, the right help and advising – you can reach your goals.”
Currently, Ruth works part-time as a receptionist for MassEdCO and serves as a very warm and welcoming presence to other EOC clients coming in for services!