Jessica Fernandez has been selected as the North Platte Community College Business Student of the Month for November.
Fernandez is a non-traditional student at NPCC. She had been a stay-at-home mom for 11 years and was living in Alliance when she decided to go back to school.
"I knew I wanted to further my education once my children reached school age," said Fernandez. "After some major life changes, I decided to apply to the NPCC Bridge Grant Program. Upon acceptance, I relocated my family to North Platte."
Fernandez earned a certificate in Medical Office Technology at NPCC, which only fueled her desire to learn more.
"At that point, I decided to continue for an associate degree," said Fernandez.
She is currently on track to graduate in May of 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Office Technology with a Medical emphasis. She has also acquired two more certificates: one for Medical Billing and Coding and another for Medical Transcriptionist.
"Jessica possesses the work ethic, attitude and dedication to succeed in the classroom and, later, in the workforce," said Kathleen McCune, business instructor. "Her engagement and commitment to academics have made her an exemplary college student."
Fernandez has just as much respect for the instructors in the business department and credits them for putting her on the path to success.
"The faculty at NPCC is amazing," said Fernandez. "Teresa Piccolo, the manager of the Bridge Grant Program, has also been extremely supportive of me. She's always there when I need her and goes above and beyond to help. Without her encouragement and support, and that of the business instructors, I wouldn't be where I am today."
After NPCC, Fernandez plans to continue her education at Peru State College. Her goal is to obtain a bachelor's degree in business management and eventually land a job working in billing, insurance, banking or human resources.
"I believe if you put your mind to something you can do it," said Fernandez. "I am so thankful to have had this opportunity at NPCC, and I can't wait to see what the future holds."