From Poverty to a Career: Meet Adelina Machuca Santiago

November 30, 2018

My name is Adelina Machuca Santiago. My path from poverty in Mexico to success in America has been very difficult but my motto is, “determination is my power.” I live that motto every day.

I grew up in Oaxaca Mexico with no electricity, running water, little food and no access to medical care. My desire for an education and better life was so strong that I walked five hours every day to attend high school.

When I moved to Longview, my goal was to find a school and learn English. That’s when I found my second home, Lower Columbia College (LCC). I worked nights while going to school days. I spent two quarters in English as a Second Language and then progressed to adult basic skills classes, where I graduated from High School 21+ program in the spring of 2014. I immediately started college summer quarter. I was not successful my first quarter, but I did not give up.

At LCC, I found the academic and emotional support that helped me to succeed. I took advantage of all the resources on campus. I found extra support and instruction in the I-BEST program,1 received an Opportunity Grant2 and utilized LCC’s career, counseling and tutoring services. I worked hard and made the honors list many times and was awarded the 2015-2016 Outstanding Pre-College English Student of the Year.

In the summer of 2018, I graduated with an associate degree in Medical Office Administration and also received Community, Health and Wellness Advocate and Health Occupations Core for the Healthcare Worker certificates. Today I work full time as a child wellness advocate. I love my job and know that I can be an example for others while helping them to understand that no matter how difficult life can be there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Learn more:

 Adelina Machuca Santiago

Adelina Machuca Santiago

News and Media Contact:

 Wendy Hall, Vice President, Effectiveness & College Relations, Lower Columbia College


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