For Texas Southmost College student and Composition tutor Elvira Olivarez, it was time to finish what she started years ago – her college education.
For the single mother juggling two part-time jobs as a tutor and a home health care provider, all while ensuring her two children are excelling in school, has made this journey anything but easy.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for years now,” said the Brownsville native, who was raised in East Texas. “It was time to return to school to not only give my kids a better life but to work toward self-satisfaction.”
For the 36-year-old, her college journey began at an Arkansas college where she majored in Business Administration.
She was able to complete three semesters before returning to Brownsville with her children to care for her grandmother who needed assistance after suffering a stroke and a heart attack.
“Brownsville is where I needed to be. My grandma needed help and that help was me,” said Olivarez. “This was my chance to spend time with her and enjoy her company before it’s too late. If anything, I’ve learned that time is precious.”
After working numerous years in the service industry and not sure about a career in business, Olivarez was ready to explore new career opportunities.
So, in 2019, she decided to enroll as a part-time student at TSC and pursue an associate degree in General Studies. She expects to complete her degree later this fall or next spring.
During her time at TSC, Olivarez became a Composition tutor with TSC’s Learning Labs, allowing her to realize that she has a passion for serving others.
“I was unsure about becoming a tutor, but a friend of mine pushed me to do it and I’m so glad I did,” she said. “It has been so rewarding helping other students connect the dots, find their confidence and learn.”
“Returning to Brownsville and being at TSC has helped me realize how good it feels to make someone’s life better,” she said. “And realizing that has encouraged me to enter a field where I can be of service to others.”
With a servant heart, Olivarez plans to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Health and begin a career in the public health sector.
She said pursuing big dreams and returning to school has been nerve-wracking, but she has used that fear to embolden herself.
“My fears give me the power I need to accomplish what I need to accomplish for myself and my family,” said Olivarez. “Returning to Brownsville and attending TSC has changed my life. It has provided me with everything I need to lead a better life for me and my babies.”
Visit the TSC Learning Labs to learn more about the tutoring services available at the college.