The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

COMPASS celebrates fifth year with kick-off event

Photo+by+Chalres+Okafor%2FThe+Collegian.+Students+were+encouraged+to+network+with+each+other+during+the+fifth+C.O.M.P.A.S.S.+kickoff+event.+
Photo by Chalres Okafor/The Collegian. Students were encouraged to network with each other during the fifth C.O.M.P.A.S.S. kickoff event.
February 5, 2020 | Krissia Palomo | campus editor
Photo by Charles Okafor/The Collegian. Students were encouraged to network with each other during the fifth C.O.M.P.A.S.S. kickoff event.

C.O.M.P.A.S.S. is a program based out of TR Campus focused on women’s holistic development in and out of the classroom. The organization celebrated its fifth-year kickoff Jan. 30 by inviting keynote speaker and TR Spanish instructor Janet Rodriguez to share her story of perseverance through struggle.

Rodriguez’s speech, “Finding Happiness in The Pursuit,” focused on her struggle as a Cuban fleeing from a socialist country and arriving in the U.S. with little money and no plan.

“Thinking back to my childhood years,” Rodriguez said. “I was very happy. I had all I needed. I had healthy relationships.”

One of the main focuses of Rodriguez’s speech was an important role that TCC has played in her life.

“It feels as if it were yesterday when I walked into the registrar’s office at NW Campus with a head full of dreams and an eagerness to obtain an education that would bring me out of poverty,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez went into detail about her families’ personal experiences during Fidel Castro’s leadership in Cuba.

She recalled the April 1980 break-in of the Peruvian embassy in Havana which led to the Mariel boatlift when Castro opened the Mariel Harbor and allowed Cuban families to flee the country.

When Rodriguez’s family in Florida sent for them, her father informed the Cuban government of this intention, as he did not want to put their family at risk.

However, this act wasn’t enough to keep them protected.

“The government took away our ration book, fired my father from his job, neighbors were forbidden to talk to us,” Rodriguez said. “The CDR (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) organized a rally in front of our house to repudiate us.”

Rodriguez then showed the audience a video of a loud riot in front of someone’s house, giving students an idea of what her family had to endure.

Students were not only invited to listen to Rodriguez speak but also to network with other students before the event.

Vice president for student development services Julie Amon emphasized the importance of keeping a close circle of friends or a mentor who provides a support system for you.

“It’s gonna be really important for you to try and find those connections,” Amon said. “And when you find it, you’ll know how impactful it can be.”

TR student Dayelin Navarro believes socializing with other students at similar events helps students get the full college experience they aren’t getting from a big four-year school.

“These events help us feel more connected,” Navarro said. “Like a community.”

However, TR student Sylvana Martinez was more interested in the message that Rodriguez delivered.

“Perseverance is something you need to have in order to succeed in your education,” Martinez said.

Currently, C.O.M.P.A.S.S. only meets on TR Campus, but program leaders hope to work alongside the Intercultural Network programs on all physical TCC campuses to provide the experience to others.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian