June 03, 2022

“Education opens doors. No one can take it away from you. Education is key in being successful in life, both personally and professionally.”

Leticia Merlin Jarquin heard these words many times when she was growing up from her parents, teachers who are now retired.  Leticia is a Translation and Interpreting (TRIN) major, and plans to graduate in Spring 2023. 

Affordability and a Warm, Welcoming College Environment

She chose Century College for two reasons:  affordability, and the College’s warm and welcoming environment.  “Yessica Santana, Multicultural Student Services Director, was giving a presentation on Century College at the Mexican Consulate, and I was curious,” Leticia remembers.  “Ms. Santana talked about the quality of the professors, the opportunities to grow, and the College’s many resources, such as the library, the computer centers, and the supportive IT staff.

“Shortly after, I went to an Open House at the College and was impressed by the way the TRIN students treated me, answering my questions, and making me feel welcome.” 

Resources for Student Success

Leticia has used many of Century College’s resources, and found them very helpful.  “The library has everything you need for work or entertainment–articles, research papers, movies.  During the pandemic, when everyone was at home, the Century College librarians would copy necessary materials and send them to the students,” Leticia notes. “And the Writing Center staff have been reviewing my assignments since Fall 2019.  I have made good friends there—it’s a very good asset. 

“The Reading Center also helps me develop strategies for improving my reading, and that is useful, especially since English is my second language.  Also, the Multicultural Center,  and the Counseling center staffs are excellent.  The Student Health Clinic nurses were especially cooperative, advising me when I needed a TB test for my internship.”

Outstanding Student Award in English

Originally from Mexico, Leticia took English lessons while living there, but struggled during her first year in the U.S.  “I interacted with people, practiced my English, and took lessons online,” she remembers. “My kids have helped me with pronunciation. I keep trying and practicing. I like English, and I like grammar. When you want to learn, you put in more effort.”  

When she came to Century, Leticia took English classes, and when instructor Dr. Angela Coffee saw how she interacted with students, she recommended that Leticia join the Tutors Linked to Classes program, and work with Dr. Coffee’s English classes.  Leticia loved the experience. “I like to help.”

For all her hard work and dedication to assisting other students, Leticia was recently recognized with the Century College 2022 Outstanding Student Award.  “I can’t believe it!  I was so excited, happy, and crying,” Leticia enthuses.  “Once, when my son came home from college, we went to Century and we looked at the photos of Outstanding Students on the walls.  I told him then that that was one of my dreams,” Leticia says. “When I got the award, I called my son and told him – I DID IT!”

Future Plans

As part of her TRIN program, Leticia recently completed an internship in which her time was split between working for Hennepin County Medical Center and the University Language Center.  She loves the work, and plans to continue in the field when she receives her degree next spring.  Beginning this summer, she will also work on her CCHI (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters) certification.

“Professional interpreters have a common goal of accuracy, impartiality, and cultural awareness in their interaction with  patients,” Leticia observes. “I want to help people, and support them where I live.”She has a lot of experience and compassion for patients undergoing medical treatment, because she interpreted for her sister when she was having chemotherapy treatments a few years ago. 

Thanks to her Century College experiences, Leticia will continue meeting her personal and professional goals, with excellence.  “The best decision I ever made in my life was to come to Century College.  The professors are great, and all faculty are awesome–the staff are friendly, and helpful.  If you are on campus, and you look lost, they will help you find your way.”

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