Northeast Campus students discuss academic programs and career paths

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by Jim North
Southeast Campus Editor

Gabriel Mejia has the goal of being a middle or high school teacher.  Photo by Jim North.
Gabriel Mejia has the goal of being a middle or high school teacher. Photo by Jim North.
Christine Meister hopes to travel and participate in missionary work abroad. Photo by Jim North.
Christine Meister hopes to travel and participate in missionary work abroad. Photo by Jim North.

Students often appear to quietly mind their own business, while under the radar loom hopes, dreams and goals driving their steady and consistent progress.

Gabriel Mejia is majoring in secondary education, and is currently enrolled in his fourth semester.

In the future, he wants to teach middle or high school students, in subjects such as social studies, history and government.

He grew up and lives in Sperry, Okla., commuting each day to the Northeast Campus (NEC) for classes.

Mejia chose TCC for affordability. Tulsa Achieves is funding the two years required for his associate degree.

An additional scholarship pays for his books, enabling him to enjoy two years of college completely funded. This allows him to work and save money while attending TCC.

Upon graduation, Mejia plans to transfer to Cameron University, with classes held at Rogers State University in Claremore. His bachelor’s degree will also be in secondary education.

His goal is to “make a difference or try to make a difference by being a teacher. I think giving somebody an education opens up a lot of doors for people.”

Mejia looks forward to the influence he can have upon future students.

His favorite classes are Honors American Federal Government, Introduction to Macroeconomics and
Ancient Medieval Civilization.

He has been accepted and is currently enrolled at Cameron for the fall 2016 semester.

He has been happy with his progress and the learning
outcomes from his TCC program.

Christine Meister grew up in Houston, spent nine years in Fort Worth, and then moved to Tulsa in 2012 to attend Rhema Bible Training Center.

She had already obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but decided to change careers to the nursing field. After her two-year program at TCC, she plans on becoming a nurse.

Costs were a factor in choosing TCC’s nursing program, as she found it to be affordable and able to finish without acquiring student loans.

Meister says the programs are hard work and rigorously intense, but the past success rate of TCC’s nursing program graduates drew her here.

“I wanted to help people … talking with different nurses, it seemed like an avenue I
wanted to pursue,” she says.

Meister is getting early exposure to the field by working now at St. Francis Hospital.

Her dreams and goals include travel abroad and missions work. She and her husband also would like to expand their family after completion of her program.

Interesting classes on her schedule include biology, anatomy and physiology.

Returning to school at a later age may be an advantage, she concludes.

“I’ve learned how to be more disciplined, how to prioritize my life, and I think it has helped me be more successful now in school, more-so than when I was younger.”

Meister comments on what success means to her.

“I think balancing family, personal life, work life and studies while going to school—that’s success.”

She adds, “Even when I’m done … continually improving and learning … keeping compassion … ultimately why you work in nursing is because you want to help people.”

Gisella Gaytan also is enrolled in TCC’s nursing program. She plans on transferring to the University of Oklahoma (OU) nursing school after graduation.

After her bachelor’s degree from OU, she plans to become a registered nurse (RN).

Gaytan grew up in Tulsa and chose TCC’s program for its low cost of attendance.

Tulsa Achieves and Oklahoma Promise are making it possible for her to attend classes with her responsible for the cost of books and fees only.

Her goal upon graduation is to move out of state where there are more opportunities in the field. She wants to work in pediatrics.

Gaytan thinks she could relocate to Texas for a job. Eventually, she wants to start her own pediatric practice.

Currently, she is a nurse’s aide in the nursery of St. John’s Hospital.

Gaytan loves working with kids. She says, “I just like to see them smile and get better … sometimes it’s not just that they’re sick within themselves, but they’re in a bad environment at home … when they’re at the hospital, they’re scared, so I want to make them feel better.”

She enjoys science classes, such as biology and chemistry most of all.

“I think it’s because you really can’t stop learning in those. There’s always somewhere farther to go.”

Mejia, Meister and Gaytan are making their education count, while anticipating bright and promising futures.

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