DECEMBER 5, 2022 — Heading back to school to earn her degree was always the plan for Felicia Carrola. She attended college briefly straight out of high school, but left school without obtaining her degree. She worked full-time, married her husband Daniel, a UTSA alumnus, and had a daughter, Victoria – a roadrunner in the making.
A first-generation college student, Carrola’s determination to continue her education has paid off. She will earn her B.A. in Multidisciplinary Studies this fall—an opportunity made possible by the UTSA Online program.
“I joined the program in the fall of 2021 after transferring from San Antonio College (SAC) and it’s been great having the flexibility to finish my degree and not have it disrupt my family life at home,” said Carrola, who describes herself as a 100% stay-at-home parent.
Like many students, Carrola’s path had obstacles, but her husband and close family helped her through. Her parents and mother-in-law took turns watching her daughter while she took courses online. Many nights, she stayed up late at the kitchen table finishing her homework. She says, though, that she wouldn’t change a thing.
“This program was so worth it,” she said. “You’re working on deadlines, trying to get things turned in and you’re studying when and where you can, but you’re not having to go to campus at a set time and you can be in the comfort of your home.”
Completing her degree was important for Carrola for a couple of reasons. She wants to make a difference in the lives of those who are experiencing youth homelessness. She also wanted to be an example for her daughter and show her the importance of an education.
Homelessness is an issue that hits close to home for Carrola. Her cousins struggled with abuse and homelessness from a young age, and as they entered their teen years, she lost contact with them.
From time to time, she’ll see one of her cousins around San Antonio and provide him with food and clothing when she can, but that experience has left her with a desire to do more.
“After graduation, I am looking for an opportunity in the nonprofit sector,” she said. “I’ve seen firsthand what homelessness can do to a family and I want to be of help and give back. Working for a nonprofit like Haven for Hope or The Children’s Shelter has always been a goal of mine.”
Fifteen years after first dropping out of SAC to enter the workforce, Carrola is on a direct path to reach her goal with her family by her side.
UTSA traditions have become an important part of their lives, and school pride is already rubbing off on their daughter. The Carrolas are big Roadrunners Football fans, and each fall they can often be found decked out in UTSA gear at their usual Alamodome space tailgating with relatives.
As she does, she knows how fortunate she is.
“I am grateful for the love and support of my family, and for the opportunity I’ve had in my life,” Carrola said. “For my daughter, I want to be the best person I can be moving forward, and I knew that by having this degree I could give myself the biggest advantage I could, going back into the workforce.”
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
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