Rosa Franco is a mom on a mission. After years of being out of school, Rosa decided to chase her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. She is quick to say that it hasn’t been easy, and that she’s often felt discouraged and wanted to give up. Her advisor, however, would not let that happen. Olga Ramirez, Rosa’s academic advisor at Arturo Velasquez Institute (AVI), has become not only her motivator and cheerleader, but her inspiration.

“Olga has helped me stay on track, take the right classes, and even lets me know when one of my classes might not be covered by financial aid. But she doesn’t just care about my academics – she cares about me.”

Rosa sees Olga as a role model – she, too went back to school after she had kids, so she knows what it’s like juggling responsibilities at school and at home.

“Knowing that she accomplished so much while being a mom has inspired and motivated me – we even talk about all the little things we have to do, like making sure meals are ready in the fridge at home before you head out to class. Hearing first-hand from someone who has been through what I’m going through makes me feel like I can really do this.”

And Rosa is doing it – after discovering a love of education through teaching Sunday school at her church and teaching her daughter at home, Rosa started taking classes at AVI at the age of 34 because it was close to home. Two years later, after a lot of hard work, she earned her Associate of Arts in Elementary Education in Spring 2018 and will transfer on to get her bachelor’s in the same discipline.

Rosa didn’t just take advantage of the academic advising available, but also utilized resources like math tutors and got help from the Financial Aid Office.

“I’ve had a great experience at Daley and AVI, and Olga was a big part of that. But I know that she didn’t just do this for me – I’m sure she does it for every student she works with.”

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