Weatherford College Alumna and Former Dual Credit Student
Name: Emily Yolanda Lopez
Hometown: Santo, Texas
High School: Gordon High School
What prompted you to enroll in dual credit? Dual credit was first introduced to my class our sophomore year in high school by our head of student services, Richard Holder. I remember thinking it was too soon for me to even think about college. I just wanted to enjoy high school. But I knew that I could not lose sight of my ultimate goal at the time – get into TCU and become a Horned Frog. I, of course, enrolled in dual credit and it became one of the best decisions of my life.
Do you attend classes on a WC campus or through your high school? I attended dual credit class through my high school. The way it was conducted was actually pretty neat. We had our own classroom set up with a webcam, microphone system, and TV monitor, and, with the help of technology, we were virtually in a college classroom but within the comfort of our own school. We watched the professor's lecture, we could see the other students, and sometimes the professors would prompt for discussion and we were able to engage in discussion with the other students and the professor.
What are your plans after graduating high school / Weatherford College? I graduated high school in 2013 and went on to Weatherford College. I graduated Weatherford College with both an A.A. and A.S. in May of 2015. I then transferred to TCU. My dream finally became a reality. I will be graduating from TCU in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduation, I plan on working a couple of years hopefully in a higher education setting where I can continue being around education and the love of learning.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not at school or studying? My favorite thing to do outside of school or studying is to visit new restaurants and other attractions that Fort Worth has to offer. Fort Worth has become my favorite place, and I want to experience and see everything it has to offer.
What is your dream job? My dream job would definitely have to be an academic advisor at a university. I want to be the type of advisor who focuses on working with first-generation students like me. I would love to help other students like me pursue their dreams. I feel as though my journey could inspire students from different walks of life to not give up on their dreams. TCU seemed like a dream that was just that, a dream. But with perseverance and keeping the faith, I have made it all the way to graduation! This feeling is not like any other, and I want my students who I advise to feel this when they get accepted into their dream school and earn their degree. I want to change their lives for the better and help them achieve not only their academic goals but also their personal and career goals.
Who has been your greatest hero? I have many heroes and I am blessed to even get to say that. My hero in high school was my math teacher, Mrs. Holder. She has the biggest heart and really cares about her students. She worked tirelessly to help me and other students who were struggling in math, especially while we were enrolled in dual credit college algebra. She gave us all she had so we could be all we wanted to be.
My mother is also my hero. She made sure I never lost sight of my dream of making it to TCU. Sometimes when I had days that made me question if this is even worth it or I was becoming impatient with how long earning my degree was taking, I think back to how hard she worked for me to be here at TCU. My favorite quote is, “My mother worked too hard for me not to be great.” And I live by that every day. She is my greatest inspiration.
When I first began this academic journey, I was a traditional college student. Time has passed and now I’m a couple of years older than my peers and I’ve had some significant life experiences, one of them being that I am now married. Which brings me to my next hero, my husband.
My husband and I went to the same high school and both took dual credit at the same time. We graduated high school together, we both moved on to Weatherford College where he also received his A.A. and A.S. and then he transferred to the University of Texas in Arlington. He is pursuing his bachelor's degree in marketing while also working two jobs. He too is a first-generation student. His dedication and drive is something that I look up to everyday. He is my biggest motivator and always encourages me to be the best I can be.
What was your favorite course at WC? My favorite course at WC I took during my first semester, I believe. It was Introduction to Psychology taught by Dr. Abbott. This was a class I was taking because it fit with my schedule, but little did I know it would change the trajectory of my entire academic career. I had never taken a course on psychology, and I remember being so interested in his lectures. I knew once that class was over that psychology was something I was eager to learn more about because to me it was the most interesting topic I’d ever encountered.
How would you describe the quality of education you received at WC? Being that I am a first-generation student, when I go back home to visit family, most of my family members don’t even think of college as even an option. My time at Weatherford was life changing, and I want that for my family. Weatherford is a small, tight-knit community where the education is affordable and you have so many resources available to succeed at WC. I’d say the quality of education I received at WC has prepared me for not only my transfer to a four-year university, but prepared me for life as well. At WC, you have great flexibility. I worked full-time while pursuing my degree at WC and found it incredibly manageable to work and go to school. WC really makes it a priority to ensure that working young-adults have the opportunity to achieve their academic goals while also living their life and being able to provide for themselves at the same time.
How important were dual credit classes been in furthering your education? Dual credit classes prepare you for your future academic endeavors. In dual credit you learn skills early on such as time management, study techniques, and, most importantly, learning to incorporate personal values and ethics such as displaying honesty, integrity, and perseverance. Dual credit also puts you in the lead to getting accepted into a two or four-year college or university. It shows your dedication and your drive to pursue your academic goals.
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