PROFILE: Tragedy leads to purpose

This semester, Amarillo College students have gotten a closer look at their classmates who have taken advantage of the services offered at Community Link, the college’s outreach program that serves as a gateway to higher education for nontraditional students.

As the semester draws to a close, so does the Ranger series on these extraordinary students and the center that has helped them achieve their goals. Before the series ends, Maury Roman-Jordan, director of outreach services, has one more student she’d like to introduce.

Nelyda Molina
Photo by AMANDA CASTRO-CRIST | The RangerMolina and her daughter stay busy at Alamo Motors. 

Nelyda Molina came to Community Link for English-as-a-second-language classes in fall 2003. After a semester at the center, she went on to additional ESL classes on the Washington Street Campus for another year before taking a break from education.

In 2010, after Molina’s husband was killed in an accident, she took ownership of his business, Alamo Motors. In fall 2011, she returned to Community Link and started classes for her GED.

“How many women go through a tragedy like her and not only take on a business, but also think, ‘I need to go back to school to further my business’?” asked Maury Roman-Jordan of Community Link.

Roman-Jordan said Molina returned with a purpose, not just preparing for her GED that semester but passing it as well. In spring 2012, she enrolled in AC’s business management certificate program.

Molina is enrolled in four classes this semester and plans to graduate by the end of the fall 2013 semester.

She began classes at Community Link when she arrived in the United States from Mexico because she wanted to learn English and had heard Roman-Jordan speak at her church about services offered at the center. She returned to obtain her GED so she could move on to higher education and gain skills she could use in her business.

“Everything I’m learning, I’m applying here,” she said of her classes at AC, adding that she wants to continue her education and take accounting classes.

Molina’s days consist of classes in the morning, working at Alamo Motors during the day and then picking up her two daughters from school.

“She does everything,” said Vanessa Gallardo, another former Community Link student who also rents the building and shares an office with Molina.

Molina said she runs the entire business, from buying vehicles and detailing them to selling them and keeping up with bookkeeping responsibilities.

“I get someone else to do that,” she said with a smile.

Anyone interested in services offered by Community Link can call 806-381-8968 or visit www.actx.edu/community. The center offers a variety of services, including GED and ESL classes and assistance in connecting with financial counselors and advisers.

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