“From 0.8 to 3.2 GPA…” Meet a Recipient Featuring Maricela Barrera
Meet three-time scholarship recipient Maricela Barrera, and her daughter, Araceli. Maricela is currently seeking her degree at NorthWest Arkansas Community College and hopes to become a Pharmacist in the future.
We asked Maricela to tell us more about her journey as an SPSF scholar.
How did you hear about SPSF NWA?
It was my school counselor, Kara Bui. She knew my story of academic financial hardship, and she encouraged me to apply. She said that SPSF NWA is an amazing organization that is filled with people who have big hearts and are rooting for the success of their recipients.
What made you decide to go back to school, and what has changed since making that decision?
I decided to go back to school after I dropped out in 2014. It was difficult to raise my GPA and to show the school that I was serious this time around, but it was very worth it. I went from a 0.8 to a 3.2 GPA! I am extremely proud of myself, and it made me realize that I am motivated to complete my studies. Araceli already looks up to me and follows me; I want to be able to show her what being scholastically successful looks like.
How did you choose your major?
I worked with Walgreens for nearly three years, and two of those years as a pharmacy technician. My love for pharmacy grew there. You get to interact with others and really get a feel of your community. One of the pharmacists I worked under really motivated me to purse a degree in pharmacy; she saw potential in me before I saw it myself.
How will life be different for you and your family after you graduate?
I will be able to financially support my daughter and myself without feeling pressured about upcoming bills or barely scraping by. I will be able to have a more flexible work schedule so I can spend more time with my daughter and really give her the life that she deserves. Plus, I’ll be able to say that I’m the first in my family to graduate college!
What is one of your favorite parenting moments?
I would have to say it was when my daughter finally let go of her pacifier! She started talking a lot more, and that’s when I finally heard her speak Spanish! As much as I would have loved her first Spanish word to have been “Mami” (mom), it was actually “leche” (milk)!
What is something you would like to do but haven’t had time lately?
Sit down and read a book! I was able to finish a novel from my favorite author, Sarah Dessen, right before fall semester started. Now, all I’m reading are biology and American history books!
A movie I never get tired of:
A Walk to Remember; it’s a beautiful love story!
What is your favorite time of day?
My favorite time of day is when I get home after night school. When I knock, my daughter runs to open the door with a huge smile on her face, and she almost pushes me down with a hug!
What is your idea of a great weekend?
My ideal weekend would be taking my daughter to her gymnastics class, eating at her favorite restaurant (Dennys), and spending time with my family. And true to mom form, it would also include all the laundry folded and put away!
One word to sum you up:
Tell us about your involvement in the community.
I am very lucky to be able to volunteer alongside my work with Ozark Guidance. From time to time, there are opportunities to interact with our local community. Recently, we had a booth at The Jones Center for the Latino heritage celebration!
What would you like to say to SPSF NWA supporters?
Thank you so much for your support! It means a lot to know that there are people out there who are willing to help single parents and not view us as “statistics” or anything less than what we are. I don’t know how I will be able to repay all the support and generosity, but I will find a way!
Posted by Christina Meeks on Monday, January 1st, 2018 @ 5:00AM
Categories: Inspiring, Latest News, Meet a Recipient
Tags: #BetterBrighterNWA, #ScholarshipsSupportSuccess, Meet a Recipient, Northwest Arkansas Community College, NWACC, Scholarships for single moms, SPSF NWA