Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RGC Native Pursues Masters, Thanks Local College

Former South Texas College student and Rio Grande City native Monique Estelle De Pau earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences in May 2011. She is currently pursuing a master’s in occupational therapy at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. But she believes she would not be where she is today without the academic boost she received from STC and her own hard work and determination.

“South Texas College was the catalyst I needed to get on the road to achieving my dream of becoming a pediatric occupational therapist,” Monique explained. “I was able to get a head start on college by taking advantage of STC’s Dual Enrollment Program, where I earned 28 college hours prior to my 2007 high school graduation.”

Monique also took advantage of STC’s summer courses to get ahead when she came home from school to spend time with family and friends.

“While most people my age were enjoying their summers during college relaxing at the beach, I was busy taking a few classes at STC’s Pecan Campus to complement what I learned at TTU,” she said. “I know that my time at STC adequately prepared me to take on the challenge of a university and be successful. And the college’s flexible schedule and year-long offerings allowed me to graduate sooner than I had expected.”

In addition to her academic excellence, Monique prepared for her future career by volunteering at local clinics and shadowing professionals in the field to learn about the different methods practitioners use to solve their patients’ problems.

“All that I’ve experienced has led me to believe that a good work ethic and unrelenting dedication are values that will take anyone far in life,” she explained. “And even though I’m just a small town girl with big dreams, I’ve learned to strive for excellence in everything I do.”

She looks forward to returning to the Valley upon earning her master’s degree to make a difference in the lives of Valley children and families.

“Childhood is a time when we learn, grow and develop the skills necessary to become functional, independent adults,” Monique said. “For some children with developmental disabilities, though, growing up is challenging, and everyday tasks can be hard to navigate. I looked forward to working with Valley children to help them gain the necessary skills for daily living through activities and treatments aimed at maximizing their potentials.”

And what advice would she give to other students considering taking dual enrollment classes while in high school?

“I inherited a will to succeed from my parents, and with their support, I have become a strong and independent young woman,” she concluded. “And if there is one piece of advice I would share with others it’s that seeking a higher education is an investment in yourself; always strive to improve your life so you have more to offer others and at the same time be self-sufficient. Anything is possible with hard work and determination.”

Photo caption:
Former STC student Monique Estelle De Pau earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in May 2011.

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