April 13, 2021

Century College student Bianca Rodriguez is the epitome of compassion.  Working the overnight shift as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the Transitional Care Unit at a group home, Bianca helped many patients who were close to death.  She often skipped her breaks to read to or talk with her patients.  ”You comfort them and the family in time of need,” Bianca notes. “When you see them, you realize you may be the last person they talk to. You have to make sure they’re well taken care of.  If I were in the same position, I would want that done for me.” 

Returning to Century College for A Fresh Start

Bianca recently decided to return to Century, where she earned her CNA, to begin her Nursing degree.  “Nurses are on the front lines, and I want to be there with them,” Bianca says. “I love nursing, and I’ve always wanted to help others in need.”

After five years working in her field, Bianca’s return to higher education has not been an easy one. During the pandemic, she has also been transitioning to single parenthood, raising seven children between the ages of eleven and two, while working and going to college. She will often connect to her virtual classes while waiting in the car, after dropping her kids off for school. “I never sleep,” Bianca laughs. 

Her work life is only slightly easier, since she recently began working for just one client.

Strong Student Support

Since starting her first semester in January, Bianca has rediscovered her passion for learning.  “I was nervous prior to my first Zoom meeting, but once you’re over the hurdle and you get used to it, you’re okay!” Bianca observes.

Bianca has excelled in her Express English class. “I love the criticism in my English class—it’s the only way you’ll get better.  This class has taught me so many life lessons. I’ve learned people are helpful. Century College English Instructor Yanmei Jiang sees me and hears me,” she says. “Yanmei points out students’ accomplishments, and makes personal connections with everyone.  She pushes us hard, and you want to succeed.”

“And Yanmei has also taught me to reach out, when I need help.  Century College has helped me pay my bills.  The Century Foundation helped me with an emergency grant so that I could pay my internet bills and light bills.  I’m grateful, I didn’t expect any help.  At Century, people want to help you succeed, even when it doesn’t benefit them.” 

Bianca will begin as a Tutor Linked to Classes (TLC) for English classes during her second semester.  “I’m looking forward to it,” she says.

Future Plans 

“Century College is full of amazing people. Faculty and staff are like a family.  If you have any concerns, they’re there for you,” Bianca notes.  ”They’re all so sweet.  We’re all rooting for each other.  It feels good when you’re doing well, and others are doing well, too.”  

In the future, Bianca will carry that support forward in her career as a nurse.  She plans to work with newborns and their moms.  “A baby being born is such a wonderful thing,” Bianca says, “And I want to be there to help in any way I can.”

Learn More About Century College: