Nixy Salcido and Maria Carmella Ocaya are TIA alumni and freshmen college students at the University of Arizona. Nixy is majoring in nursing. Maria Carmella Ocaya is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. They both met in the 6th grade at TIA and become good friends.
How Did TIA Prepare Nixie and Maria to be Good College Students?
They feel that TIA prepared them for college life by teaching them the basic fundamentals of being a successful student. Examples are: turning in quality work, leadership skills, communication skills. All very important for succeeding in college. TIA also helped them prepare for college by not settling for less. They never turned in work at TIA that wasn’t almost perfect.
What they also loved about their years at TIA was how their small school was very family-like with their relationships with the teachers.
Why Did the Girls Choose U of A?
Nixy and Maria chose to go to the University of Arizona because of the scholarship opportunities that they got. It is also very close to home, which they both like. They are both family-oriented people so when picking a college, it was important to them to be able to be close to their families, at least for the first few years.
One of the things that Nixy and Maria liked about the U of A is how nice and approachable the professors are. They have been able to bond with the professors, even in an online format during the pandemic, the same way they would when coming in-person to classes. They also really like the environment on the campus. People at the school are friendly and approachable. The projects that they do with their groups in the classes really help them be able to make friends.
What Does the Upcoming Semester Hold For Nixy and Maria?
For the returning semester, they are able to attend classes in person. They are both very excited about the clubs that they will be able to join. Also, being able to walk to class, rather than everything being online will be another plus.
Maria is excited about this next semester with the research opportunities that the college will provide. Also, she is looking forward to joining clubs that are geared towards engineering. This will give her more experience than what she could get during the pandemic.
Maria and Nixy are both very glad to have had each other to lean on for their first year at the U of A. Since so many of their classes were online, it was harder to make friends. But they knew each other well from all their years together at TIA. That helped a lot. Now they are looking forward to attendant U of A football games and getting into the school spirit.
What are Their Future Plans?
After Nixy graduates from the U of A, she will be a Labor and Delivery nurse and work in a hospital.
When Maria graduates with a Biomedical Engineering degree, her ultimate goal is to work in the field of cancer research or other possible areas would be cardiac and diabetes research.
Nixy and Maria Recommend for Future College Students
The girls recommend to other TIA students to go to a college like the U of A. You will have an adult life but still have your parents to live with if you chose (if you go to a college in your hometown). And if you go to a college out of town, that is good too. At any college, you will still make many great connections for your future, in addition to all that you learn. Link to their YouTube video