“I chose Maria because I wanted a small college that would give me many opportunities to grow and succeed personally, academically, and spiritually. ”

Maria Stories

Devon Garcia, Maria Opportunity Programs Student

Devon was born in the Dominican Republic and her mother brought her to the United States and she learned English when she was seven years old. Although her primary language is Spanish, she attended English speaking schools and credits a teacher in the elementary level who took a personal attention in her by bringing her books and encouraging her to read. She attended the Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls whose mission is to prepare young women to graduate from high school with the academic and leadership skills necessary to succeed in college and the career of their choosing.

She was accepted into Maria’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) in the Fall 2016 and is enrolled in the General Studies program with an intent for nursing. She is the first generation to attend college and has always wanted to learn and tackle tough subject areas. She stated, “chemistry was especially challenging and I am thankful for my instructor who really took the time to break down the complex scientific topics and help me to understand”.

Her passion for nursing stems from her experience as a young patient in the Dominican Republic. She was born with a heart murmur and the doctor was three hours from her home. According to Devon, “the clinic was always crowded but my heart specialist was driven to help people. It is that compassion that I hope to someday be able to give to others”.

Learn more about Maria’s Higher Education Opportunity Program.