A New Life in Massachusetts
Ecuadorian-American relishes educational opportunities
According to Dennise Carranza '13 of Worcester, MA, the northern Berkshires are a big departure from her native Ecuador, where the winters are warm and tropical and it's the summers that are cooler. But, more importantly, she sees her MCLA education as the chance to realize opportunities not possible in her homeland.
For Carranza, attending MCLA is a chance to access the American Dream.
"Getting a degree in a Latin American country sometimes is a waste of time because there aren't enough job opportunities for people who graduate from college. Instead, if you get a degree in the United States, you are able to use it in any part of the world," Carranza says.
She learned how to speak English at age 11, after her family moved to this country. She attended middle and high school in the U.S. As a freshman at MCLA, she's majoring in English/communications, with a particular interest in broadcasting.
"I've always been curious to know how everything works behind the scenes, such as production work and the cameras and stuff like that," Carranza says. "Also, because English is my second language, I find it very challenging... I love to challenge myself to always do more. I like to set goals for myself."
At first, she wasn't sure that MCLA was the school for her, but after visiting the campus and meeting other students and faculty and staff during orientation, Carranza says, "I completely changed my mind. I love being here and being part of the MCLA community."
In high school, Carranza served as the president of the school's Latino organization. She also led her school's Martin Luther King group.
After little more than one month on campus, Carranza says she already feels that she belongs here. In addition to joining the National Broadcasting Society, she is a member of the photography club, does yoga with other students, and is running for the position of secretary for the Class of 2013.
"I always heard that college was something hard, that in order to make it through you need a lot of hard work and dedication. Therefore, I always put my mind and soul towards anything I do," says Carranza.