- Degree Awarded: Associate in Science in Engineering and Science Transfer
I started getting better grades. I started seeing my GPA go up. I thought, wow, maybe school is for me.
“I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. My mom flew over here when I was 8 months to seek a better opportunity. After attending Springfield High School of Science & Technology, I applied to STCC.
My counselor told me about the STEM Starter Academy, a summer program for new students that shows you different careers in science, technology, education and mathematics. I applied as a math major. I thought, I might as well go for it.
One day, I was in study hall and helping out students with math. My STEM coach saw that and talked to me about becoming a tutor. I had never done tutoring in my life, but I had done mentoring. I figured that would be similar. I went for it.
During my first year at STCC. I worked at a restaurant as a dishwasher, mostly every day. I was also a tutor, and a full-time student. There was a lot of juggling back and forth. It was overwhelming for me. During my spring semester, I did horrible. I felt like I was going to give up. I came to Dr. Griffin-Fennell and said I don’t know what to do. I felt like school was not for me. She told me, “Don’t give up.” If it wasn’t for her, I probably never would have graduated.
I quit the restaurant job. I thought, my education is way more important than a job. I want a career. So I left that job during my fall semester, and I was just tutoring. I stuck through it. I started getting better grades. I started seeing my GPA go up. I thought, wow, maybe school is for me. I probably didn’t try hard enough. I probably didn’t put in enough effort. I ended up graduating.
I want to become a professor of mathematics. That’s my goal. I love tutoring. I love helping students – that’s why I do it. I was going to drop out. I see students struggle and I feel for them. I want to help as much as possible. I wouldn’t want them to go through what I went through – almost giving up.
"Witnessing his journey as a student at STCC from the beginning, I have nothing but immense pride in and respect for Edwin. An intelligent student who is a role model to his siblings and others, he shows other students that they are capable of doing great things in their lives, because he has begun to realize that truth within himself. Edwin has been paying forward the support he has received in his academic career through giving back to others. I have no doubt that he will continue to realize his dreams, making them his reality."
Felicia Griffin-Fennell, Director of HSI-STEM
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