Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Success Stories

Felipa’s Story

Latina woman wearing a mask and posing with a robotic arm in a classroomFelipa was referred to Willow Creek Center by her Career Pathways Coach after completing her GED in Spanish through PCC’s Adult Basic Education program. She wanted to keep learning, but wasn’t sure which direction to go, so she signed up for two different On-Ramps as a way to explore her options.

She started with On-Ramp to Healthcare, and quickly determined that it wasn’t the field for her, so she began the On-Ramp to Manufacturing.  After learning from five local manufacturing employers and seven different PCC manufacturing programs, she had found an industry that she wanted to explore! Felipa shared that the class helped her to get a better understanding of what it’s really like on the job in a variety of different areas of manufacturing. She said she also appreciated getting to hear from all of the PCC manufacturing programs in one class.

Before the On-Ramp started, Felipa told her instructor that she was unsure if her English skills would be strong enough, and was not confident with speaking in front of the group. But Felipa didn’t let fear hold her back. By the last week of class, she had not only discovered that her English skills were strong enough, but she had become a leader in her robot-building team, troubleshooting tricky assembly issues, asking great questions, and supporting other students who needed help.

Felipa is now enrolled in reading/writing and math classes for fall term and participating in digital literacy workshops through Willow Creek Center to prepare for being a credit student. She also has access to Voxy, a tool that helps English language learners build vocabulary for specific industries (including manufacturing).

Felipa is still deciding between a couple of different programs, but she now has some strong leads, and new connections to help her reach her goals. She shared that she is excited to keep learning and that this On-Ramp class helped her build confidence as a student.

We can’t wait to see what this intelligent, kind, and hard-working student accomplishes next and are so honored to be a part of her journey!