Hodges student realizes American Dream by opening business

Hodges University student, Rocio Navarrete, a second year accounting student, will open her second business in Fort Myers on Saturday, April 16 with a special grand opening celebration. University namesakes Earl and Thelma Hodges will be on hand to assist in the ribbon cutting. Navarrete’s restaurant, El Gaucho Inca, is located at 4391 Colonial Blvd, near the Fort Myers campus of the University.

“I really thank Hodges for all of their support and enthusiasm for my success,” said Navarrete. “The instructors there taught me to believe in myself. They have given me strength to excel and become the person that I am. The professors treat me like family. They not only teach me, but advise me, support me, care for me, and cheer for my success. I am extremely grateful to everyone at Hodges University.”

A native of Peru, Navarrete came to the United States in 2001 and began to realize her American dream by opening her first business, a cleaning service, in 2004, one that focuses on the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products. She enrolled in English as a Second language classes at Hodges’ Immokalee Learning Site in 2009, and has since matriculated into the accounting program.

“The idea of opening a restaurant came from studying at Hodges University,” said Navarrete. “The various courses I have taken gave me the skills necessary to initiate my dreams. Besides providing me with excellent courses, Hodges has also provided me with magnificent professors. “Professor Timur taught me economic concepts, a handy skill when operating a business; Professor Blix continuously gives me advice on how to handle the accounting of my business; and Professor Nocher has greatly improved my communication skills. I am very proud to study at Hodges.”

Navarrete’s restaurant opens Saturday, April 16, specializing in authentic Peruvian and Argentinean foods.  For more information, please call (239) 601-3202.

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