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Irene Oliveira (AA 2019)

Irene Oliveira had just completed her first year of medical school in her homeland of Cape Verde when she started preparing to move to the United States with her mother. Leaving her older siblings, friends, and the life she had always known behind, Irene resolved to continue pursuing a medical degree here in the States. However, due to her limited command of the English language and the difference in education requirements, officials advised that Irene return to high school.

“It was hard when I first came here,” Irene admits.  Immigrants, like Irene, often encounter legal obstacles when they are trying to further education or find jobs in the U.S.  In part because of credential requirements, many immigrants are forced to enroll at a more regressive stage in their education or even to find work below their education level, and often at lower wages.  Irene’s experience was discouraging, but her desire to practice medicine was paramount.  She began to make strides in the requirements for enrolling in high school in Boston; which included a physical and blood testing.  When Irene sat with the Phlebotomist, an RCC alum, she was encouraged to visit the college and explain her circumstances. 

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Shana Bryant (2012)

When the Rachael Rollins campaign needed a point person for operations for the Inauguration ceremony hosted at RCC’s Media Arts Center, they called in Shana Bryant Consulting. Just three weeks shy of the big event, Bryant was tasked with managing volunteers, communicating with vendors, and general event management for an event that saw 700 attendees at the Media Arts Center and the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

Working out the logistics comes naturally to Shana Bryant, Class of 2012; but she did not always view her expertise in operations as part of an income generating skill set. “As a team mom, I never understood why we didn’t know who was bringing the oranges to each game,” Bryant says of her natural attention to detail. Bryant’s frustration with other team parent’s cursory handling of simple tasks showed her it was not second nature to everyone; it was her own unique gift. When it comes to details, and their importance in the success or failure of an event, Bryant is at her best. She prides herself on her ability to execute what appears to be a flawless event while finding cost-effective ways to meet client demands.

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Rashida S. Jenkins (2014)

Rashida S. Jenkins has achieved many distinctions while a student at Roxbury Community College. She is the President of RCC’s prestigious Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Iota Mu Chapter and a Recipient of the 2014 All-State Phi Theta Kappa Academic Team Award. A single mother of a young child, Rashida is Student Representative for the Honors Program Committee and a Scholarship Member of the One Family Scholars Program. Rashida will graduate this May with an Associate of Arts Degree in Health Careers. She will continue her academic career at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. Rashida’s long-term goal is to complete a Master’s of Science in Nursing Degree and establish a career in women’s health and prenatal care.  Reflecting on her time at RCC, Rashida says, “Roxbury Community College has helped me to gain confidence in myself and create a solid foundation of academic excellence. It has truly been the gateway, unlocking the reality of my dreams.”

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Walter Flores

A Note from the Honors Program: Walter Flores is on the cusp of being recognized as a member of the class of 2014 to receive Honors Distinction. This accolade is given to students in the Honors Program who complete three Honors research projects while maintaining a 3.3 GPA. Walter launched his honors work in fall 2012 when he discussed the value of Bioinformatics to examine hypoglycemia for his Biology I course with Prof. Kimberly Steiglitz. His second project exposed him to the field of environmental studies where he researched Brazil’s use of the ethanol cooking stove to promote a sustainable environment. This project was a component for the spring 2013 Honors Colloquium facilitated by Prof. Eric Entemann. With a current GPA of 3.6, Walter’s final honors project at RCC, to be shared during Honors Presentations Day on May 5, 2014, revisits his passion for Biological studies where he will impart how his scientific research can improve the quality of our lives

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