Aspiring educator Ivana Maldonado, who works as a Texas Southmost College English and psychology tutor, said the best part of her job is helping students overcome their struggles.
The Brownsville native graduated from TSC with an associate degree in social work in 2018 and since then has remained employed by the college because of her desire and dedication to teaching.
“Having this opportunity has been the best thing for me,” said Maldonado, who maintained a 3.7 grade-point average as a student at TSC. “This wasn’t even the job I applied for as a student, but things work in mysterious ways and this is where I belonged.”
Since seventh grade, or as far back as the 22-year-old can remember, helping others and making a difference is what she set out to do.
It was her motivation to make a difference, TSC’s proximity to home and its affordability that led Maldonado to enroll in the Social Work program.
“My sisters attended this campus when it was the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, so I knew it was a great place to receive a college education,” said Maldonado. “I knew I couldn’t go wrong with TSC and it didn’t prove me wrong either.”
Maldonado’s experience in the program and job as a tutor led her to discover a new passion: teaching.
“The world of social work is fascinating, but it wasn’t for me and instead of discouraging me, I got support from my instructors and those I worked with to help me find my passion for teaching,” she said. “And now I can take what I learned in social work and apply it in my classroom to better serve my students.”
She added that TSC’s Social Work program and her internship at Good Neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville gave her insight into the struggles that many students in the classroom face today. These experiences gave her the ability to recognize trouble signs and be familiar with the types of resources available.
“TSC has given me a solid foundation to build upon,” said Maldonado. “All of the lessons and experiences I gained at TSC have allowed me to grow as a person and learn how to better serve others.”
Maldonado expects to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in teaching, with a specialization in special education in December 2021 from one of the local four-year universities.
After gaining experience in the classroom, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree to someday become a professor at a local university or even return to TSC to share her knowledge and insight with other future educators.
“Doors of opportunity are everywhere now thanks to TSC,” she said. “I plan on staying local to give back to the community that has helped me become who I am. I feel like everything is possible.”
Maldonado is one of more than 10 tutors available virtually to help students. Tutors provide help in subjects such as mathematics, writing and statistics.
All tutors are certified through the College Reading and Learning Association. This certification provides tutors with an internationally accepted standard of skills and ensures that tutors are trained in instructional methodologies.
Tutors are available virtually Monday through Saturday.
TSC’s Learning Lab also offers open computer labs and a 24-hour online tutoring service called BrainFuse.
Visit TSC’s Learning Labs for more information.
Registration for summer and fall 2021 is in progress now. Visit tsc.edu/register for more information.