Student Spotlight: Victoria Aguilar
Victoria Aguilar enrolled at El Camino College right after high school graduation and immediately embraced her new academic environment.
"I chose El Camino because it offered the most value to me right away," she said. "I applied and was accepted to a job and a support program on campus the summer before my first semester started, so right off the bat I was well taken care of. Additionally, the courses are affordable, the classes aren't impacted, and I get to stay home just a little longer."
Victoria is a sign language interpreting major who plans to transfer to a university and earn a bachelor's degree in deaf studies. She is El Camino College's Associated Students Organization vice president, an ambassador, and a member of the Puente Project, a program that provides academic support and mentors.
"Puente has impacted my college career by allowing me to meet my mentor who I have contact with on a daily basis, my amazing counselor who offers her constant support and easy accessibility, and my student cohort, which I consider my second family because we are so supportive of each other and share similar backgrounds and goals," she said.
She was also able to represent El Camino at the 2018 UC Riverside Puente Motivational Conference, which was life-changing.
"Almost every day I receive emails about different scholarships, conferences, workshops, job postings, volunteer opportunities, events, and more, which is why I know Puente students are among the most prepared and motivated to achieve their educational goals."
Highlights of her time at ECC include the opportunity to attend several conferences, most recently participating in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference in Chicago.
"Going to HACU was great because it gave me the opportunity to expand my network, discuss career and educational opportunities, and further develop my leadership skills."
In addition to her activities, Victoria said she stays on top of her academic goals by visiting tutors, study lounges, counselors, and mentors, and by attending cohort meetings, workshops, and expos covering an array of topics – all found on the ECC campus. The variety of experiences found at El Camino College, along with her interactions with students, faculty and staff, is what makes the college experience exceptional.
"What I like best about El Camino College is the diversity. When going to community college, your classmates range from high schoolers to senior citizens, from veterans to parents, from international students to first-generation students, and so on," she said. "Students are constantly enriched in different cultures, experiences, values, etc.
"I highly recommend El Camino College to others, because El Camino truly follows its motto of 'Where you belong. Where you succeed.' El Camino, along with all community colleges, truly has something to offer for everyone, and accepts all students unconditionally."