2018 Student Essay Winner Andrea Montes

Andrea Montes photo

2018 SEC Winner
Andrea Montes

2016 SEC Winner Paloma Marinelarena

From Eighth Grade to Nurse

Going back to college at the age of 27 was one of the most difficult and challenging things I have ever done. I was surrounded by people who were not only younger than me, but who also had the high school experience I lacked. The last grade I completed was the eighth grade. By the time I went back to school I was older, a mother of three children, and a housewife to an abusive husband. Furthermore, English is my second language and I often struggle to write and understand everyday topics. After every class I attended, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore.

After I finished taking developmental classes I decided I wanted to become a nurse. Anatomy is a prerequisite to enter most nursing programs. This is where I met my angel. It may sound corny to many, but Professor Sutton is an angel to me.

Professor Sutton has a unique teaching style I will never forget. She made every class a memorable experience. Due to Professor Sutton’s humble and sensitive spirit I opened up to her and confided in her my fears and life struggles. She was so kind to me. Every time we talked I felt like she believed in me. As a result, I started to believe in myself.

I told Professor Sutton about an interview invitation I received from one of the most prestigious hospitals in the Dallas, Texas area. Professor Sutton offered to prepare me by hosting mock interviews. The mock interview sessions with Professor Sutton prepared me so well that I earned a spot at the Methodist/El Centro College nursing program.

The first semester of nursing school was a difficult time in my life. During those hardships, I often emailed and visited Professor Sutton. With her calm voice and demeanor, she encouraged me to find the strength to continue the nursing program.

Currently, I am a fourth-semester nursing student. I graduate in May with an associate degree in nursing. The degree will not only change my life, but also the lives of my three children: Kim, Kristal, and Eduardo. I am so thankful and blessed to have met such a wonderful human. I hope one day Professor Sutton knows how much she changed my life.