Country of origin: Honduras
Keyla Torres, an immigrant from Honduras, started anew at Wright College in 2004. Today, she is Eli’s Cheesecake Company’s Business Specialist. Like many other immigrants, Torres went to the United States in hopes of a brighter future. She graduated from Wright College in 2007 with an Associate’s Degree in Arts. Soon after, she transferred to Northwestern University, eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics.
Torres’ fascination with trade is fueled by the long processes and the numerous people it takes to acquire products today. In the competitive business world, Torres believes her Associate’s Degree plays a significant role in her career; “Many students think an Associate’s Degree doesn’t really count because they already have plans of transferring. But it does. It gave me validation—It gave me something that says I accomplished something,” she said.
Living in the United States for four months, Torres studied at Wright College to explore her horizons and cultivate her skills. While adjusting to the language, she enjoyed her classes and strived to learn everything she could. Her focus was business administration and international trade. Hence, she took business and math courses, enjoying mostly her macroeconomics and microeconomics classes. “Education is the most efficient way to open doors in life,” Torres said, “Students should enjoy their classes and experiences. But they also have to be focused and want to learn because everything they get today is their tool in the future.”
According to Torres, one of the primary reasons she enjoyed studying at Wright College was her involvement in organizations in the school. She began as a photographer for The Wright Times in 2004. The next semester, she joined Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) and the Student Government Association (SGA). After two years of taking classes, Torres considered transferring to a four-year institution. Nonetheless she chose to stay at Wright College for one more year to get an Associate’s Degree. Torres ran and became the President of PTK and SGA in spite of working full-time and having 12 credit hours during her last year at Wright College. Wright College President Dr. Guengerich noted, “Keyla is the only student who proved to me she could be the President of these two big organizations simultaneously while working and studying at the same time.”
As an alumna, Torres strives to involve herself with Wright College as much as she can through Eli’s projects. Furthermore, she keeps in contact with the Dr. Guengerich and the student leaders of PTK and SGA, offering her assistance when possible.
Torres acknowledged that through her experiences in Wright College, her dream became clear. She is an inspiration to many as inspite of her full plate during her studies at Wright College, she managed to balance her activities and academic studies. Torres proved that with persistence, a person could be successful; nothing can stop a determined dreamer from attaining his or her goals.
By: Kathlyn Talapin, Photo Editor
The Wright Times, December 2010