a person in front of a group
Daniella Sebastian shares her story about how her parents laid the groundwork for her success at Beaufort CCC and North Carolina Wesleyan.

BCCC Alumna Daniella Sebastian Speaks as Part of Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Beaufort County Community College celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month on October 12 with Beaufort CCC alumna Daniella Sebastian returning to campus to share her story. Students, staff and faculty gathered in the Boyette Conference Center to honor the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This year’s national theme is Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, And Progress in America.

Beaufort CCC alumna Daniela Sebastian shared her story and insight related to her path to prosperity. Sebastian’s parents migrated from Mexico for a better life in the United States. They encouraged and supported her to become the first in her family to graduate with a college degree. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College and is currently employed at East Carolina University. Sebastian is grateful for her parents who demonstrated hard work, determination and perseverance, and instilled in her the faith needed to reach her goals. She encouraged the audience with words that have served to inspire her when life puts obstacles in her way, “וֹSi se puede!” which translates in English to, “Yes, it can be done!”

The audience had a chance to learn through participation. BCCC professor Jose Mendoza and his students led the audience in singing the song, “Amigo.” The audience also had a chance to try a traditional balloon game. After answers to the trivia challenge were revealed, the students that completed the challenge were included in a prize drawing for gift cards to a local Latino restaurant. Spanish class students and TRIO shared cultural snacks and drinks for the audience to enjoy.

This year’s celebration was a collaboration between Spanish professors Ana Jiménez-Leary and Jose Mendoza with TRIO Student Support Services. Students who participated in the program presentation were Charnise Hall, Victoria Monter, Joselin Anaya, and Viridiana Martinez.

Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded TRIO program, which provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with basic College requirements, and serves to motivate students toward successful completion of their education. All of the services; including tutoring, university visits, technology lending, and cultural enrichment opportunities; are free for program participants. Students must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States to be eligible for TRIO/Student Support Services and meet one of the following criteria: “first-generation” college student (this means that neither parent received a bachelor’s degree), fall within income guidelines set by the US Department of Education, or possess a documented physical or learning disability.