HARLINGEN — For Montserat “Montse” Esquivel, college has become a journey that not only allowed her to help other students, it’s also helped her realize her dream.
The 31-year-old San Benito native is well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming a veterinarian.
“I’m really into farming and animal science, and my next step is to become a veterinarian technician,” she said. “Since I just finished my biology degree and I’m currently studying agricultural technology, it’s going to save me a lot of time and money when I transfer to A&M in Kingsville to pursue veterinary medicine.”
Esquivel says her upbringing is one of the biggest reasons she has a strong passion for four-legged friends.
“My parents are huge animal lovers and they always told us that our dogs are part of the family. If I see an injured bird in the middle of the road, I pick it up and nurture it until it’s okay.”
The future veterinarian technician recently received the STARS scholarship, which she credits with helping her get to where she wants to be academically.
“I wasn’t able to borrow the books from anybody, so the scholarship really helped me make a dent in the supplies that I needed for the semester.”
Esquivel isn’t only pushing herself further academically, she’s also helping other students do the same.
“I’ve been a tutor for three years. The majority of the time that I’ve been here at TSTC,” she said. “When your students come and tell you that they made an A on a test, that’s the best feeling. I was inspired by the tutors who helped me when I came back to school, and I wanted to reciprocate that feeling with other students.”
She said that one of the best things about attending TSTC is that there is a nonstop support system that guides students toward success.
“Director of Student Success, Norma Salazar and Linda Barron, who is a tutor coordinator, have been great inspirations to me. They have both guided me through everything and have been very encouraging,” said Esquivel. “The thing I like about TSTC is that people start to know your name. It’s like a family. You can go down the hall and someone will tell you hi and ask how you are, and I think that’s really important in an environment that can sometimes be stressful.”
While she’s continuously busy focusing on her career path, Esquivel’s biggest motivation to pursue her higher education comes from wanting to make sure that her 6-year-old daughter, Isabella, also understands the importance of going to college.
“I want it to come natural to her, and I don’t really want college to be seen as a maybe. I want her to know that after high school, she will go to college, and I want her to know that whatever career path she chooses to follow, she will be fully supported,” she said. “I want her to have the same support system that I do. My husband, Gregorio, and the staff and faculty here at TSTC have all helped me so much, and I am very grateful.”
Esquivel and her family will be moving to Kingsville next fall so that she may continue her education.
For more information on TSTC’s Agricultural Technology Program, visit http://www.tstc.edu/programs/AgriculturalTechnology.