Of the 347 excited students attending the graduation ceremony at St. Augustine College on May 27, 2017, one of them confess that she are not only getting the reward for her efforts, but the transformation of her live.

Of Ecuadorian-Mexican ancestry, Johanna Castro graduated as Summa Cum Laude – the highest degree that a student achieves – obtaining an Associate in Applied Sciences in Computer Information Systems, with a concentration in Programming and Applications.

“I honestly thought it was not possible to graduate college when I finished high school. I studied only two semesters in a different college because I had to work to help my family with the economic expenses. Knowing that I’m going to graduate with honors, I feel … Oh my God … it is a great satisfaction to say that yes, I was able to achieve my dream. This has transformed my life”, said Johana Johanna.

“I know this achievement is because of my efforts, but I couldn’t have done any of it, without my mom. Mami is my… (tears interrupt her), she is my inspiration, my motor. She is the biggest support I have, without her, I would have nothing and could not have achieved it. When I didn’t have motivation, she gave it to me, she always told me ‘you can do it, I know it’s not easy but you can do it’.. She’s the biggest support I’ve ever had,” she revealed.

Johana said that her parents didn’t even get to go to high school. “That’s why they always taught me and my siblings to study. My mother always said: ‘You have to study because the dummy in the family is me’ I am the first in my family to finish college and I am very proud to give that joy to my parents; and also for demonstrating that it is possible to achieve the dreams of being someone better to myself, although to achieve it, many sacrifices were made and it costs a lot of work; But believe me, it’s worth everything. There are no words to describe everything I feel.”

Johana also mentioned that she plans to obtain a combined degree, working on her bachelor’s and master degree at the same time. “I know I can do it,” she concluded.

Computer Information Systems at SAC

St. Augustine College now offers two careers related to computer systems. The first is an Associate Degree of Liberal Arts and Sciences (AA) with a concentration in Computer Information Systems, and the second is an Associate Degree of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Systems.

The Associate Degree of Liberal Arts and Sciences (AA) with a concentration in Computer Information Systems offers a broad range of courses designed to provide foundational knowledge in areas such as English, mathematics, science, and history while also providing key courses that are designed to provide basic knowledge within the information technology (IT) field. The Computer Information Systems concentration is an excellent foundation toward pursuing a baccalaureate degree.

The Associate Degree of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Systems will be prepared to obtain an entry-level position as an application programmer, microcomputer specialist, web developer, database administrator, or within network maintenance and network support. In addition, the program prepares students to continue their education and obtain a baccalaureate degree in computer science at a four-year college. The program has two concentrations:

Applications Programmer

Understand the rules of logic and program design; Identify and classify the data structure used in computer programming; Write a business computer program solution from its specification-design; and Identify customer needs, design and implement a computer solution to the business problem.

Information Systems Support

Arrange all hardware components and be able to build a microcomputer system; Use basic troubleshooting techniques to overcome common problems that affect a computer system; Demonstrate the skills to setup, install, and upgrade a common operating system and microcomputer applications; and Identify network components and data communication structures in order to build a computer network.

by Eduardo Alegria

Translation to English: Johanna Castro