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Forging Connections Expanding Horizons

Forging Connections, Expanding Horizons. Elizabeth Torres Herrera.

Elizabeth Torres Herrera came to Hawkeye Community College knowing one thing for sure: education was key to finding a better job. She planned on completing her GED at Hawkeye’s Metro Center, which she did—but that was only the beginning.

The Metro Center became her second home, where she not only gained new skills, but gained a new confidence.

“The instructors at the Metro Center are dream-makers,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Elizabeth’s instructors supported her and encouraged her to pursue a college degree after completing her GED. With their guidance and the backing of a Next Step Scholarship to attend Hawkeye Community College, she enrolled in classes on Hawkeye’s main campus. 

While at Hawkeye, Elizabeth connected with campus resources like TRiO and became active in other organizations. She even had the opportunity to study abroad in Russia.

I felt like I was dreaming—what life am I living?

Her proud family stood by her side when she graduated from Hawkeye in 2014, and the University of Northern Iowa in 2016. Now pursuing a graduate degree, Elizabeth feels confident and purpose-driven.

“They say we all have a mission in life,” she said. “I need to make my influence present. I want to give back. This is my mission.”

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