Aguedita, Elva, and Juan Toro—the youngest three siblings in a family of 16 from Peru—arrived for their first semester at HCC’s SouthShore Campus speaking no English. With encouragement from faculty and administrators at HCC and inspiration from their parents, they persevered through classes while working full-time jobs to make ends meet.
In a single year, each of the Toros gained English proficiency and continued with their studies. Three and a half years later, Aguedita, Elva and Juan have completed their AA degrees at HCC and begun to pursue bachelors’ degrees in international studies at USF.
“The Toros are a wonderful success story for the HCC SouthShore Campus,” said SouthShore Campus President Dr. Allen Witt. “Their spirit of determination and hard work, along with graciousness, inspires our students and faculty.”
At commencement in May, HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater recognized Aguedita, Elva, and Juan in his remarks, honoring and congratulating them for their achievements.
“This is a day I will always remember,” said Aguedita at commencement. “The people at HCC gave us a chance to achieve our dreams. We are very thankful.”
Article written by: SouthShore Staff