Gabriela Torres is from New Rochelle, New York. She graduated from high school at the height of the Coronavirus lockdown in May of 2020; the prom and ceremony were replaced with a drive-by diploma pick-up line. Since pivoting to online learning that spring, Torres has not returned to in-person classes. She has yet to visit the Hostos campus, and she’s excited that her first time on campus will be to serve as the 2022 Salutatorian.
“I was confused about what to do after high school, like any high school student – plus the pandemic. My aunt told me about Hostos,” remembers Torres. “She told me about Dental Hygiene and I thought I wanted that but I realized that I loved Education, and changed directions.”
She graduates with an AA in Liberal Arts degree with electives in education. Torres will attend Manhattanville in the fall for her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K to 6 grade). She then plans to move to Lehman College for her master’s degree.
“I feel extremely proud of myself because online learning is not easy,” she added. “You need to be really responsible and on top of your work – especially if you are taking asynchronous classes. But I did it. I did my work and had a job. My plate was full but I was able to succeed online. My two years at Hostos have been amazing and I feel it prepared me for the next school.”
Torres loves helping her community and works in the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle’s afterschool program helping K to 2nd graders with homework and activities meant to empower them on their educational journeys.
“My parents are so proud of me. They came with nothing from Mexico. My mom has an elementary education and my dad finished high school. They came here and gave me everything. I want to give them back everything they gave to me.”