By Dani Moritz-Long
Described by New Student Orientation Coordinator Lorie Bellot as “the true gem of Valencia” and a friendly, smiling face, Mildred Morales, staff assistant II, has earned a reputation for her kindness.
Of course, for Mildred, a 15-year veteran of Valencia, originally from Puerto Rico, kindness comes naturally.
“My positive attitude and outlook comes from my understanding that every day will bring challenges as well as blessings and that I should treat people the same way I would like to be treated,” she said.
Around West Campus, where Mildred is based, she’s known not only for being a friendly face, but also for being an invaluable resource.
“Being a wife of a retired military officer, Mildred has great passion for our veterans and is often sought out for a listening ear, a campus resource, a hug and providing words of encouragement,” explained Lorie. “Mrs. Mildred is also bilingual and assists Spanish native students in navigating the enrollment and advising process more seamlessly.”
Like her amiable disposition, Mildred, who studied at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, says her military support is also second nature. Her husband, she explained, served for 20 years, and they raised two children in military life. “Going the extra mile for these students comes naturally,” she said, “because it’s what I’ve done for my family most of my life.”
Knowing the importance of education in achieving a brighter future, Mildred is always happy to assist these students and anyone who needs her help. She’s especially inspired by the impact she knows Valencia has on the community.
“What I like the best about working at Valencia is being able to witness the impact the College has had on the lives of so many people,” she said. “I can recall a former student stating how amazing it was that I helped them when they attended Valencia and that I was now helping their child. Being able to make connections with both students and co-workers, who have become true friends, is something I absolutely love.”
And without doubt, Valencia loves her too.
Summing up her pivotal place in our Valencia community, Dean of Students Ben Lion put it perfectly. “Mildred is a hallmark of the student experience.”
In her free time, you can find Mildred listening to gospel music, enjoying motorcycle rides with her husband and spending quality family time with her children and grandchildren.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.