Outstanding Students

Beatriz Valdez-Warner

Where are you from? Mexico City

Why did you choose Kirkwood? Because it has programs for people like me who need to increase their income before it’s too late. With the possibility of continuing a career in Family Care or Social Worker.
What is your major and how did you choose it? Human Services. My specialty in my country was Natural Medicine, and I always liked being close to people who needed help. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my degree in this country, so I started working like everyone else as an immigrant. I was treated disrespectfully and abused like a hard worker, which meant working harder while everyone else just watched. My experiences working as an Enrichment Coordinator allow me to think that I can gain respect for who I am and what I do. So, I decided to get a degree that would allow me to be close to people who need to be directed to resources in the community. 

What has been your proudest moment at Kirkwood? The first time I received a Congratulations from the Kirkwood Community College Dean’s List.

What are your plans after Kirkwood? First, finding a job allows me to be financially independent to make personal decisions. Then, I would like to continue my four-year career as a Social or Family Care Worker.

What inspires or motivates you? Myself. I know how long and hard my journey has been, so I deserve to live in harmony with myself and my surroundings in my old days. 

Tell us who you are outside of Kirkwood. Before I became a student, I swam two to three times a week, hiked in the woods on my days off, meditated in the morning and did yoga for pain control two or more times a week. My family lives in different states of Mexico with their own families, so I don’t see them often. I love metaphysical themes, new-age music, the flute, the piano or traditional music. Natural Medicine was my passion because I had my own laboratory where I made my own microdoses as a natural treatment. I used electroacupuncture and had the tools to help heal people holistically. 

What does it mean to you to be named an Outstanding Student? It’s a lot more encouragement (and a bit of pressure) to go all the way. I feel proud of myself and happy that someone also recognizes my effort.

Is there anything else you would like to add? As an immigrant, English is a second language. I came to the United States away from my children and often regretted my decision to leave. At 63 years old, I realize that my resilience is my great support. It doesn’t matter how many times I fall. If I can do it, everyone else can too. Thank you for all the emotional support from my teachers, acceptance from my peers, and financial aid. Thanks for taking an interest in who I am and what I like.

Categories: Outstanding Students