Belinda Ortiz’s Path to Success is Not Ventured Alone
After a troubled history, the young native New Yorker, Belinda Ortiz, found her path to a positive and prosperous future through education. Currently, she is on the Deans List at the South Bronx academic institution, Hostos Community College, with a grade point average of 3.8.
At Hostos, the Upper West Side resident, who grew up in Brooklyn, is on track to finishing her Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A) Program that will allow her to continue her dream of becoming a licensed registered nurse. When Belinda obtains her Associate’s, she will consider applying to New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing to acquire her Bachelor’s degree.
Besides the essential skills it takes to be a nurse, which is critical thinking, ethics, communication and compassion, one must have the passion for wanting to help people.
“It gives me a great sense of pride that I can partake in somebody feeling better,” answers Belinda when asked why she chose nursing. “I love interacting with people. Oh my gosh, I love it!
Belinda, a hard working mother, says she wants to provide a better future for her family, especially her teenage daughter and soon-to-be-born child.
“I want my family to be proud of my accomplishment,” says Belinda. “Nobody graduates alone.”
Nope, Belinda is not alone. She has been the benefactor of a community that believes in her. Along with Hostos, a top academic institution that provides a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, Belinda has received help from the College and Community Fellowship.
Since 2000, the College and Community Fellowship (CCF) have supported hundreds of women with a criminal conviction history. CCF, which believes that women can reclaim their lives and long-term success through higher education with empowering encouragement, peer support and financial assistance, has helped formerly incarcerated women gain more than 300 academic degrees since its launch.
Even though Belinda was ready for school, she quickly took advantage of the assistances by CCF. “When I attended my intake I was already a registered college student,” says Belinda. “I thought it was a really good program that was available and it had good resources for women to succeed academically and in life.”
The combination of the vigorous academic curriculums at Hostos, the CCF scholarship and their supportive team, are reasons why Belinda doesn’t feel helpless in her new venture.
“CCF has given me the scholarship to take my certified training,” says Belinda. “I learned from their academic counselors, who helped me understand to not be helpless, but to be helpful.”
Belinda, who now has a better understanding about life, goals and academic achievement, doesn’t look back at her past with regrets. Instead, she is too busy looking forward. But if she had to go back in time and speak to her younger self, she wouldn’t hesitate to give herself advice.
“Just take your time,” Belinda says. “There are hundreds of different things to do. But what chooses you are the choices that you make.”