Like many adult students, Maribel Perez-Huerta, ’15, put her own education on hold while she supported her family. Now that she has come to Meredith at the age of 42 to pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work, she’s finding that the strengths she honed in the workplace are also applicable to her work as a student.
“My advice for prospective adult students is not to feel intimidated about going back to school,” said Maribel. “It was very important for me to draw from my experiences and the lessons I had learned in the workforce.”
Maribel chose to attend Meredith for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that her two younger sisters graduated from Meredith several years ago.
“My sisters’ positive experiences, as well as their professional and personal success after graduation, strengthened my decision to attend Meredith,” she said.
Maribel was also drawn here because of the singular focus on women and the personalized nature of a Meredith education. She likes the challenging and supportive environment that promotes women’s leadership and helps her build on her strengths.
Maribel is a strong student who has won numerous awards. But she’s also made good use of Meredith’s academic resources to ensure that she succeeds in her classes. She’s utilized peer tutors at the Learning Center when she needed help in a particular subject, and met individually with professors to clarify her understanding of lectures and course material. Above all, she continues to draw on her strengths – her deep sense of responsibility, discipline, and perseverance.
“Determination is key. It can be overwhelming to keep up with technology, courses, projects, and more, but at Meredith you learn to reconnect with the drive that brought you to this point,” said Maribel. “There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the fruition of your hard work and perseverance when you reach your goals every semester.”
As a social work major with a sociology minor, Maribel had an internship at an anti-human trafficking organization. As a result, she learned about human trafficking issues that affect different communities, especially the Latino immigrant community in North Carolina.
Maribel plans to attend graduate school with a focus on public policy, which an ultimate goal of working on social justice issues. Before applying to earn her MSW, she will be gaining additional hands-on experience by volunteering at several different organizations.
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