Howard College - Big Spring, Lamesa, San Angelo, SWCID

Tabitha Rivera

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  Major: Education (Secondary 8-12)
Family: Johnny Rivera (Husb.)
Children: Gisselle, Gabriella, Marivel, Gabriella
Hometown: San Angelo, TX
High School: Lakeview High School
Attending: San Angelo Campus
Tabitha Rivera

Tabitha's Thoughts on Howard College

Why Howard College?
I selected Howard College first of all because it was affordable and second because they had classes available after my work hours. Come to find out all the basic classes I was going take, were transferable to ASU which was going to be my next move. Not to mention the teachers were awesome and the class sizes were great.

Why Education?
I had recently resigned from my full time position at the New Bridge Family Shelter where I had worked with At-Risk Youth for over three years.  I didn’t realize there was such a great need in our community when it came to working and teaching these kids. I had an amazing opportunity to work with juvenile youth, River Crest youth and the YAP kids who were going on and off probation. My heart just went out to them and I found myself being able to connect with them at a level that they needed. However I did not have a college education. I was limited in what I could do and teach. In my spare time I often found myself tutoring and filling in that gap of their much needed education. Many agencies had stated to me that it was very hard to find someone that truly wanted to work with them and take the challenge of teaching them every day. Thus came the desire and the challenge to do just that. And after experiencing that wonderful fulfillment of helping these students, I decided to move forward and finish my goal of completing my teaching education.

Career Goals
I had faced many challenges as a single parent and working full time for many years. I can relate to those challenges of finding time and money to go back to school. That is why I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to attend school at this time in my life. I do not take it for granted.  So I am planning to graduate this spring semester and continue my education at ASU. As a student, I will continue to be involved in my community and hope to be able to give back to others (especially youth) at a more structured and educated level in the future.

Favorite Professor
I have had many favorite instructors here at Howard College so it is very hard for me to choose just one.  Mrs. Tinsley (Math) was the most encouraging for me. Mr. Skelton (History) and Mr. Hidalgo (Gov.) were the most interesting. I could hear them speak all day. But I can truly say I learned the most from Mrs. Ebeling, who gave a new profound love for Science/Biology. She cared about each and every one of her students and was equally involved in our studies as we were. She displayed amazing character.

My Awards / Honors

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2005- For the State of Texas-Presented by Governor Rick Perry
  • Outstanding Performance & Appreciation-Presented by New Bridge Family Shelter
  • Outstanding Commitment to the United Way of the Concho Valley- For Loan Executive Officer 2009/2010
  • Certificate of Achievement for Maintaining GPA for Howard College (Spring &Fall 2010)
  • National PTK Honor Society Member 2011

My Clubs / Organizations

  • Vice President of Student Government Association for Howard College
  • National PTK Honor Society Member
  • Volunteer for Crisis Intervention Unit- Tom Green County Sheriff
  • Concho Valley Cares Coalition
  • Concho Valley Family Alliance

Best Studying Advice
The best studying advice, and something I learned while attending Howard College, is that no matter how confident we may feel, even as a straight “A” student, we all need help in some area of our college education. I have learned to ask questions, make appointments with teachers, send emails, go to the tutoring lab and build those relationships with those that are willing to help.  It’s my grade, my time, my money and my goal. I hold the keys to the outcome of my success. That includes even managing my time at home wisely. Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends and let them know how important school is to you. If they are really your friends, they will be supportive and understand.

Most Valuable Learning Experience
My most valuable learning experience, especially when attending Howard College, is finding out that others have the same goals and ambitions as I do.  We all are there to learn, to get good grades, graduate and move on. But I learned I didn’t have to do it alone. Howard College became not just a school but a family to me. I also learned that teachers will especially respect you if you are doing what is expected of you, turning in your work on time, and are prepared for class. Do not expect second chances because real life sometimes doesn’t give them to you.

Relax and Have Fun
The best place I find to be relaxing and fun is at home with my family. We love to spend the weekends singing Karaoke and playing X-Box Kinect We also love the outdoors. My oldest daughter is a member of West Texas Jr. Bass Masters Club and she and I enjoy traveling and going to tournaments once a month. Can’t wait for the summer!

What I like most about Howard College
You will hear this time and time again. But the thing I like the most about Howard College is the teachers and the staff.  There has never been a time where I felt uncomfortable or un-welcomed. Our student advisors, Caryn Truitt and Dr. Nancy Hernandez were so helpful.  I don’t know how I would have made it the first semester without them. I also loved being involved in SGA and meeting new students. I found out there were other people just like me with the same goals, questions and concerns. I often don’t like being called an outstanding student because every day I sit in classes with the most outstanding and amazing students, I have ever met.

What I tell future Howard College students
I encourage you to get involved with events on campus. Get to know your school. Get to know the teachers. Be prepared before classes even start. Have your book with you! (Teachers notice this!) Don’t opt out of social gatherings. Attend student forums. Go to different club meetings and find a support group that works for you.  (The folks at SGA are amazing!)  We all have families and busy schedules which is an even more reason to get connected and get away. You are not alone! Oh and help other people! Remember you were in that same boat, too. A, B and C halls can be pretty confusing the first day. So can setting up your campus email! (HA! HA!) Lastly, have fun and give 100%. Your efforts will not go unnoticed. It will come back to you tenfold in your education!

Howard College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran's status or any other protected class in its programs, activities, admission, or employment practices.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  Director of Human Resources, 1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, TX 79720, 432-264-5100.  For further information on the policy of non-discrimination, visit this link for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area.