Ortiz Closer to Becoming a Teacher
Friday, August 23, 2013
When she was four years old, Beatrice Ortiz would set up her dolls in front of a small chalkboard and pretend she was a teacher.
Now 23, Ortiz is closer to fulfilling her childhood dream thanks to Texas State Technical College and the University Center.
Ortiz is slated to graduate in December with an Associate’s in Education in Training. On Monday, Ortiz will start her first day as a student at Texas A&M-Kingsville through the University Center. She expects to graduate in the Spring of 2015.
It’s been a long and trying journey for the mother of two. But Ortiz said knowing that she’s getting closer to achieving her dream is motivation enough.
“I’ve always been very ambitious,” Ortiz said. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a teacher. But circumstances didn’t let me stay in school early on. But I knew that if I never came back to finish my bachelor’s I would regret it my whole life.”
Ortiz graduated from San Benito High School in 2008 and enrolled at the University of Texas at Brownsville that fall.
But Ortiz got pregnant with her first child during her freshman year and dropped out of school. Ortiz took a job with Wells Fargo Bank, where she’d remain for three years.
Ortiz said she valued her time with Wells Fargo but always knew that wasn’t her passion.
“Doors opened for me and I had an opportunity to move up in the company,” she said. “So I had to make a big decision. I realized that I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do as my career. So I came back to school to pursue the dream I’ve had since I was a little girl.”
Ortiz credited her mother, Maria, and husband, Uriel Martinez, for supporting and motivating her to return to the classroom.
“My mom is my backbone,” Ortiz said. “She’s my number one supporter in everything I do. Whether I need a babysitter or someone to stay up late with me when I have homework. She’s always been by my side.”
Ortiz and Martinez have two children together, four and one years old. She said Martinez has also always been very supportive of her decision to return to school and encouraged her to make the move.
“I’m very fortunate to have someone as supportive as he is by my side,” Ortiz said.
During the 2012-13 school year, Ortiz served as president of the TSTC Association of Future Educators (TAFE).
In April, TAFE was named Club of the Year at the annual Student Government Association (SGA) Awards Banquet.
It was the first time TAFE had been named club of the year and Ortiz said it came as a bit of a surprise.
“It took us a while to realize they were talking about us,” she said.
TAFE does different service projects around the community and on campus including reading and tutoring kids at the Harlingen Public Library, the Boys and Girls Club in Harlingen and the Headstart on campus.
“I don’t think people understand the importance of an education sometimes,” Ortiz said. “If we could open up our eyes to the potential in the Valley, this place would progress so much quicker.”