COVID-19 Response and Reopening

Nelida Ruiz-Vargas

Nelida Ruiz-VargaThe ripple effect of education is a wonderful thing. With plans of becoming a middle school math teacher, Nelida Ruiz-Vargas of Prineville is hoping to share-forward the inspiring impact of her own teachers and their commitment to learning. "I have always enjoyed being in a classroom environment," says Ruiz-Vargas. "My teachers throughout the years have done an amazing job of making school fun and exciting every day."

Now working toward her Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree with a focus on education, the dean's list student—noted for her work ethic and positive attitude—was selected to represent COCC on the 2021 All-Oregon Academic Team. Her next step: earning a bachelor's degree in education with an endorsement in mathematics.

And while she's looking forward to channeling her collective educational experiences—including as a tutor for middle schoolers and a member of the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps—into her career, she's also appreciative and reflective of the path that she took through COCC.

"COCC has an amazing group of instructors and staff members that have been encouraging and inspiring throughout my journey here," she adds. "There has been a great sense of comfort and support that has helped me manage both school and my life outside of school."