Guiding Students, Building Community, Changing Lives
Being an adult student or making the decision to enroll in college isn’t easy. If any current Moraine Park student knows that, it’s Aurelio Rosas of Beaver Dam. Aurelio came to Wisconsin from Crystal City, TX in 2013. As a divorced father of two, he was looking for an opportunity to provide a life for his children.
“I worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Texas,” he said. “I knew I wanted to further my education in healthcare, which is what brought me to Moraine Park.”
He found a home in Beaver Dam with his brother, Armando, and enrolled at Moraine Park. He decided to pursue both the medical assistant and medical office support Technical Degrees.
“I came to Moraine Park Technical College because I could obtain an affordable education in a short amount of time,” Aurelio said. “Also, the hands-on learning and one-on-one interaction with the instructors was important to me.”
Life settled into a routine pace for Aurelio until his brother tragically died of a drug overdose. As a result, Aurelio ended up homeless and living in his car. He briefly relocated to Milwaukee to live with his sister but could barely afford the gas to get to and from school.
“It was a horrible time,” he said. “I wanted to give up, but I knew my children needed me to keep going.”
That’s when he connected with Karla Donohue, a counselor at Moraine Park’s Beaver Dam campus. Together, they were able to find immediate solutions to help him get to class.
“The College’s Foundation has emergency funding set aside to help students in situations just like Aurelio’s,” Karla said. “Once I met with him, we were able to work together to ease his life stresses so he could focus on his education and future.”
Moraine Park support services, like counseling, are always free to students.
“Connecting students to campus services helps to give students a sense of belonging, and they realize they aren’t alone,” Karla said. “I am impressed with Aurelio’s determination to overcome some major life barriers. He is a great example of strength.”
The determination that Aurelio demonstrates in his personal life is also brought into the classroom and on campus. For this reason, he was named as the 2018-19 Moraine Park District Student Ambassador for the Wisconsin Technical College System. This role requires the student to actively serve as a member of student government, advocate for Moraine Park and the Wisconsin Technical College System as a whole, assist with college activities and events, and represent the student body within the community. Aurelio’s tenure in this position will soon end, and his final assignment as the Moraine Park student ambassador is to serve as a student speaker at the 2019 commencement ceremony.
“Aurelio is a great student and a deserving recipient of the Student Ambassador award,” Karla said. “Even more important, Aurelio is a great person. By nature, he is kind, compassionate, and relatable, which makes him a perfect fit for his selected career path.”
Aurelio took advantage of career laddering opportunities at the College. He is a three-time Moraine Park graduate, and holds a medical billing specialist certificate, technical diplomas in medical assistance and medical office specialist, and is working towards his medical office management associate’s degree. His overall goal is to become a registered nurse (RN).
“I enjoy working in my community,” Aurelio said. “I have the God-given gift of speaking Spanish, and it makes me feel good knowing that I can help with translations if need be. Overall, I just like caring for people, regardless of who are they are, and I hope to continue to do so for years to come.”
For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.