Bertha is pursuing an associate degree in business administration at Durham Technical Community College while working full-time and raising two children.

Bertha had her first child at a young age and decided to pursue her degree while pregnant with her second. She struggled with the mindset that she didn’t have the time to pursue a degree, but finding out she could manage it while being pregnant and working made her realize she can do anything. Bertha is a first-generation college student and she wants her children to see her obtain her degree while working full-time and caring for them as a single mother.

Her goal upon completing her degree is to open a Hispanic market to serve the community, remembering how her mother shopped at one and how much she valued having items from home. Having a brother who is incarcerated, Bertha understands the barriers he will face once he is released. Part of her business plan is to employ individuals who often have difficulty finding jobs, such as people with criminal records, and to assist young people in acquiring essential skills. Bertha feels strongly that the addition of a business degree to her 10 years’ experience in retail will better prepare her for success.

As Bertha sees it,

“This world needs more compassion. If we all put a little compassion back into the energy of
this world, it will become a better place in no time.”

Watch Bertha talk about the turning point in her life that brought her back to school. Please forgive the quality of the Zoom video – the audio quality is excellent though!