Learning a new language can take years to master. For Dominican native, Madeline Santana, a recipient of the Auxiliary Police Officer Eugene Marshalik Scholarship, grasping English became a pathway to her career through Hostos Community College.
After leaving the Dominican Republic at age 10 in 1998, Santana struggled to become fluent in English even though she would speak on stage in junior high.
I focused a lot on my studies and I represented my eighth-grade class. My graduation was at Hostos Community College.”
After graduating from Stevenson High School in the Bronx with a baby Santana knew that she had to find a school that would accommodate her needs. Before she went to Hostos she attended a college that was more focused on getting her into as many classes as possible and simply graduating, but at Hostos University she found something different.
“The school was very flexible towards my needs. I cannot complain about that school at all. It’s a very good school. They focus on the student’s needs.”
When she started heading to Hostos Community College, Santana was simply taking remedial reading, writing and speaking courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses without anything else in mind. However, she soon came to love the school and found her passion.
After that, I went to take my career courses…I basically love the fact that I’m helping patients improve their health…in advising them how to take their medication I feel good. I love helping others.“
Not only did she attend school as a young mother, but she volunteered as an auxiliary police officer for three years.
“I would patrol the city of New York and cover events like parades…and events that they have for the community.”
In 2015, Santana earned a Pharmacy Technician’s Certificate and then received a part-time position at the Bronx Lebanon Special Care Center. Next, she will be joining Kingsbrooke Jewish Medical Center full-time, but she is not done yet.
I would like to go to pharmacy school…I want my daughter to know to never give up…and know I did my best to give her a better future.”
To doing a speech in her eighth-grade class to becoming a graduate of Hostos Community College, Madeline Santana has truly come full circle.