Category Archives: Student Issues

Your Vote is Important

Vote ButtonOur nation’s voting season is upon us. Daily we are hearing about our presidential candidates through television, news, radio, and social media. Individuals are already starting to form their opinion on who they will vote for in November.

According to “Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections,” it’s typical that in American elections, “young people have stood out for their consistently low levels of electoral participation.”

The importance of us voting is critical. By not casting a vote, we are not helping ourselves, and doing a disservice to our own country. If we want to see change or have our rights remain the same, we need to go out and vote. Regardless of whether or not, you agree with the candidates 100 percent, we need to find our common ground this November during the election. We spend too much emphasis on not voting rather than understanding and getting to know our candidates in one form or another.

We need to not only look at our presidential candidates, we also need to consider our local candidates to be tomorrow’s leaders. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Javier Salazar. He is the current Democratic candidate running for Sheriff in Bexar County.

tnI got to know that he is a 23-year veteran San Antonio Police Officer. When I asked what qualities he can bring to the county and the job, Salazar replies that he wants to build a foundation in Bexar County.

“What I would like is to have a relationship between law enforcement and the residents.”

It is this type of understanding, we as students, need to be doing more. I listened to what he had to say for an hour, and it gave me an understanding of what issues are happening around our beautiful city.

If we can just take the time and pay attention to the upcoming presidential debate this evening and listen to what our local candidates have to say, then we can certainly be a little bit more educated on issues, rather than solely just plain saying no to voting.

If you are not registered to vote, you have the opportunity to get registered tomorrow at the Cypress patio from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

By NVC Student Jay Jimenez


Depending on Your Instructors

fbcover_sign_600px.jpg“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” –Solomon Ortiz

Whether or not you may believe it, but having support from your instructors really does change your outlook on school. I don’t mean when they cut you slack, give you an A just because, or allow you to miss days; no, this does not help. However, if you are a student who is really trying your hardest and really want to make something of yourself, some instructors will provide you the ability to move toward your goals even if they do not make it known.

I say this because it has happened to me more than once. I must say it was a shock to me at first because I never paid much attention to my instructors when I first started college, I just wanted to pass the class and move on. But sometimes I would try to find a way to connect with my instructors and see them as someone who used to be in my shoes. One of my instructors once said, “I used to eat Top Ramen too!” That was hilarious to me because we have all been there. This is a prime example that before they were teaching the class, they were attending class.

I supposed over the years, I became more mature, because I was able to see them as someone trying to help my future rather than someone making my life miserable with homework. I never took the time out until recently to appreciate the work they put in for me to get where I am today. The instructors that I had from various subjects have made a positive impact on me so much that I decided to change schools and my major because I knew they were leading me in the right direction.

Some students may feel as if they are here every day on campus to fend for themselves. Your instructors are here for a reason, as much as you depend on your scientific calculator in that overwhelming math class, you should be able to depend on your instructor. Not for an easy way out of course, but to guide you in the right direction. All you have to do is ask, they will have the answers or will try to help you find them.

By NVC Student Traishelle Armstrong


Tips to Save Money

SavingMoneySaving money can be a drag and a very hard decision for most young college students.

I have had plenty of experience when it came to saving up money and only buying what is necessary at the moment. Here are three ways you can save some money and have extra for when you need it.

Home Cooked Meals

I am sure we all have a friend who wants to go out to eat like every day right? Well don’t follow that trend, home cooked meals are way cheaper and they can feed you for longer than just one set meal. The price for an 8-pieces of pork chops is less money than a combo meal at Mc Donald’s.

Start a savings account

If you have a job while taking some classes at a university or community college, you should start a savings account so you don’t spend all your money too fast or lose it. Money goes fast when you are in college –  food, clothes, and video games burn a hole in your pocket really fast! Putting $50 away every check can help you if you break your phone, lose an expensive book, or face an emergency.

Do not buy cable

From my very own experience, do not buy cable. It is a waste of at least $120 every month. Think about it,  we spend most of our time on Netflix or Amazon, right? Online streaming is the new wave, and you can find all your favorite shows online. The extra money you have from not paying for cable can go to a new laptop or on a cool spring break vacation.

Written by NVC Student Erik Providence

Working Smarter as a Student

NVC Student Mary Oakes

NVC Student Mary Oakes

Being a working student is one of the best choices I could have ever made. When I first went back to school it was a challenge to balance the two workloads but in time I became a master of multi-tasking. I changed the way I looked at homework. Now, not only am I learning skills for my chosen field but I actually get to put those skills to use immediately and hone them.

How did I manage to do this? Moving away from jobs that had nothing to do with the career field I planned to be in after graduation, I began carving out a way to work in my field. It started with small jobs I did for free while working as a substitute teacher on a flexible schedule. Gradually, I developed a small portfolio of design and photography, establishing myself as a paid, budget friendly resource for fledgling entrepreneurs and families. I took on small design jobs for logos and business cards and began photographing portraits, ever growing my work load in this area. As my paid work load increased, I let go of the substitute teaching.

I also began optimizing my class efforts, often using client work as applicable homework. This often halves the time spent doing either and allows me more time for family. The added benefit has become being my own boss, setting my own hours and paycheck. It means by the time I do finish school, I will be a fully established independent photographic designer vs. looking around for a job.

By NVC Student Mary Oakes
To read more posts from Mary, here’s her blog

NVC Students Selected to Visit NASA this October

Picture from NASA

Picture from NASA

Jonathan Mendoza, Jose Vazquez, and Jorge Vazquez Campero – all from Northwest Vista College – have been selected to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center this spring to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS).

Jonathan, Jose and Jorge all have been selected as one of 160 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of NCAS.

The five-week scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Johnson Space Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering. While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.

The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is a project funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, which is committed to the recruitment of underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to sustain a diverse workforce.

A Little Thanks

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Dear Northwest Vista College,

Another semester has begun, and with it responsibilities, both old and new will, come to partially define it. You see, I have decided to take the advice of people wiser and more experienced than me, and take advantage of something things you have to offer. I am currently a College Ambassador, a Peer Mentor, and the Vice President of Fellowship for Phi Theta Kappa.

It may seem like a lot, especially with the 13 hours of classes and a part time job on the weekends, but let’s be honest, this is where it all starts for me. Five years from now I’ll be in the midst of finishing a Master’s Degree in Economics at UT Austin, and five years after that I’ll be teaching. Hopefully I get to keep writing and publish some of my books along the way, but it is the work I am putting in on your grounds now that will make it all possible going forward.

I remember when I first got here, confused as to where to go when it came to classes, let alone how to get to the second floor of Live Oak Hall, but it all came together over time. You have given me every opportunity to be successful and to get to where I want and need to go. The only regret I have is that our relationship is only temporary, at least as a student, but that’s kind of the point isn’t it?

I will miss you when I’m gone, but just maybe I’ll return one day and walk through your halls with lessons of my own to teach. Thank you Northwest Vista, and I look forward to what should be another great semester.


Bryan McCluggage

Earning a Degree to be More Competitive

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Discover the Power of a Degree:

In 2010, I was hired as a case manager for a local home health agency. I had no medical experience, but I knew medical terminology. I had a caseload of 70+ Medicare patients with a variety of medical needs. In 2011 and 2012, Medicare regulations changed which affected the home health agencies nationwide.

Unfortunately, I lost my job in the summer of 2012. I thought it would be fairly easy to find a job as a case manager, especially here in San Antonio. As I looked through job postings, I noticed all the case manager positions available required some kind of degree— and I didn’t have one.

After talking with my husband, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to go back to school. I wanted to become more marketable for higher-paying jobs. I knew if I didn’t go to school to get a degree, I could get stuck in some measly dead-end job. I knew I didn’t want that.

It took me almost a year to decide what my major was going to be. With the help and advising of an instructor, I was able to narrow down my possible degree paths.

Gerona Nylander
NVC Student & Public Relations Administrative Assistant