Marcia Gonzalez was born in Ecuador and came to the United States in March 2009 at the age of 16. Gonzalez attended several high schools and felt as though the education system was quite different from where she came from.
“It was really hard to adjust to this country in terms of culture and language,” Gonzalez noted. “Spanish is my first language and English is difficult. I was able to understand it but it was difficult to speak.”
Setting Goals for Direction and Motivation
Gonzalez debated between going back to Ecuador to finish high school or continuingher education here in Minnesota. After deciding to complete high school in the U.S., Gonzalez attended a charter school and began to set goals for herself with a sense of direction and motivation. Her first goal was to learn English and finish high school. Within six months, Gonzalez was able to speak English and ended up graduating high school with a 3.8 GPA.
Pursuing the C3 Fellows Program
Gonzalez then enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Gonzalez through the Power of You Program (POY). She set her sights on becoming a nurse and working in a hospital. When meeting with her POY advisor, she learned of this new program called C3 Fellows.
Gonzalez started nursing school in 2014 and was able to work in a hospital as a CNA. She reached out to Brian Mogren, the C3 Fellows Program Director at the time.
“The program was so helpful when it came to applying for jobs, improving my resume, and doing mock interviews to learn how to respond in a professional way,” Gonzalez reflected.
“The entire experience of being a C3 Fellow has been so significant for me. Prior to the program, I had applied to so many hospitals and never received a phone call back. I never got an interview. So I thought maybe I was doing something wrong because English is my second language. I thought I needed help but didn’t know where to get it from until I heard of C3 Fellows.”
The Value of Fellowship
The C3 Fellows program allowed Gonzalez to obtain a job at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC) as a Nurse Technician. By working at UMMC, Gonzalez established a working relationship with key figures including nurses, managers, and supervisors. After earning her ADN degree, Gonzalez was able to reach out to those managers and get hired as a new graduate. In the future, Gonzalez would like to go back to school to obtain her DNP degree.
“C3 Fellows helped me initiate my career in the medical field,” Gonzalez stated.
“In today's world, finding a job right after graduation is difficult especially in the acute care setting. I’m very thankful for the program. In my case it opened doors for my career. I never struggled to find a job as a new graduate thanks to this program that helped me get a job while I was still working toward my degree. I will forever be thankful to the C3 Fellows program for all of the help I received.”