Eliana Tardio

Communications and Media 2017

Semester of anticipated graduation:
Summer 2017

Career goal:
To keep advancing toward new challenges and opportunities at the professional and personal level.

Tell us a little about yourself and your life:
I work as the program director for the Parent Education Network, the Parent Training and Information Center, which is funded by the Department of Education. I came to the U.S. about 13 years ago and have two beautiful children, Emir and Ayelen. Both have Down syndrome and are my inspiration to keep advancing in life and to keep working hard to make the world a better place for them.

What are your hobbies/extracurricular activities?
I am a big fan of technology and the magic of social media, so I blog in both the English and Spanish language. In addition, I manage a community of more than 300,000 people throughout the world. Most of them are parents of children with special needs who benefit from interacting with other families and from receiving information through my blog and vlogs.

What has been your favorite class at Hodges University?
Every class has something special and unique to give. Every time I complete a class, I feel proud and happy to have learned something new, and because I work to provide training to families and professionals, I can immediately apply these lessons and witness the magic of education in action.

Eliana was honored by Hodges University's Center for Diversity during Women's History Month, March 2017.

Who are some of your favorite professors and why?
I love Professor [Andrea] Fortin, and I am honored she nominated me for Student of the Month. She is always ready to help, her door is always open to her students, and she is very flexible and creative when it comes to working with adult learners such as myself. I really appreciate that, and I can honestly say that connection has helped me achieve this dream of graduating in the U.S., and now, working towards my master’s degree.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
I would say it is hard to adapt to the new culture as an immigrant in this country. People like me have to work hard to show their value. In my case, I decided to go back to school and graduate for the second time because I knew I was never going to be successful without a degree in the U.S. Many times, we have to be strong enough to repeat things twice to be sure people understand our accent and recognize we have something important to say. However, I couldn't be more grateful and more proud every step of the way. Every challenge gives us the possibility to become stronger and wiser, and I would say I am happy to be where I am today. Nothing would have been possible without every good and challenging thing in my life.

What does receiving a degree at Hodges mean to you?
It means a lot. It means everything is possible when we are determined to achieve our dreams. It means everyone can do it at any age and under any circumstance, and it means the American dream is for real when we are determined to follow the right steps and commit to changing our lives for good.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are considering Hodges University?
I would tell them that choosing the right career is always an opportunity to grow as an individual because you don't feel forced to complete a lesson or a class. Instead, you feel inspired and motivated to expand your personal abilities and be creative, to be your own boss, and to make the change you want to see happening in the world. Getting a degree is not about the title. It is about the knowledge that transforms you so you can become a better person.

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