Sisters Will Earn Degrees in December

A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses

On vacation from Guyana in 2015, the Gomes sisters were so intrigued by Valencia College that they took time for a campus tour and investigated our international student program — then when they moved to Central Florida in 2017, they enrolled with us and began their college careers.

This December, they will earn their associate degrees and segue into their future plans.

Carolyn, 21 and pursuing biomedical sciences, and Cindy, 19 and pursuing accounting, started at the Poinciana Campus, where they had classes with Nelson Rafael Placa, New Student Experience professor, and Jorge Valladares, professor, psychology. These teachers supported Carolyn and Cindy in those first college classes and encouraged them to continue their studies.

In later semesters, the sisters took classes at the Osceola Campus and also online because they do not have access to a car and must endure a two-hour bus ride to get to campus from their home in Poinciana. Both are in the Seneff Honors Program, where Carolyn has enjoyed her math and psychology classes, and Cindy appreciated the Honors leadership class as well as a service-learning experience with Stanton Reed, professor, business and accounting. They are also indebted to Honors Counselor Alina Siddiqui, who has been a helpful influence in their college journeys.

Each sister has a plan for future studies. Carolyn is headed to the University of Central Florida, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, and she believes her hospital volunteer work has given her a head-start for success. Cindy will enroll in Florida Atlantic University’s online accounting program to work on her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She would also like to achieve her license as a Certified Public Accountant as well as earn a master’s degree.

Both sisters have solid, evidence-based advice for other students. Carolyn reminds her peers to ask questions and get involved, while Cindy suggests keeping an open mind and persevering through the challenges that are sure to crop up.

Carolyn and Cindy note that everyone they have encountered at Valencia has been supportive and helpful. They never regretted their decision to attend Valencia College.

I would like to congratulate Carolyn and Cindy and wish them luck in their future endeavors.

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