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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Durham Tech alumnus pursuing his passion
Bryan Jose Rodriguez-Sanchez, a Durham Technical Community College graduate, began to think about his passion and what he wanted his adult life to be when he heard about the College’s dual-enrollment program that gives high school students the opportunity to also take classes at the College.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” Bryan said. “[Dual-enrollment] was the perfect opportunity for me to challenge myself.”
He knew he wanted to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and he said the program gave him a better sense of what he would need to do to achieve that.
Bryan graduated with his diploma from Durham School of Technology in 2021 and his associate degree from Durham Tech in 2022. He’s now a senior at N.C. Central University pursuing a degree in accounting. After graduating, he plans to enter a master’s program, likely at N.C. State, in either business administration or accounting, and then go on to earn his doctorate degree.
“I felt I was blessed to have the opportunity of dual-enrollment,” he said, which helped launch his college career.
His experience at Durham Tech helped prepare him for success in college, including navigating costs, developing discipline and study skills. It also helped him figure out what he would like to do for a career.
“One of the challenges that I faced was what would be my passion,” he said. “Durham Tech helped me get a better understanding. I do want to emphasize the importance of getting ready for college. Had I gone straight from high school to NCCU, I don’t think I would have made it, honestly. A lot of the skill sets learned at community college transfer over to a four-year institution.”
He cites Dr. Gregory Nash as one of his influences at Durham Tech and uses one of Nash’s quotes as his mantra: You can, and you will succeed. That reminder has had tremendous impact on him, he said.
The son of immigrants from El Salvador, Bryan is a first-generation college student. His parents played a key role in helping develop a strong understanding of himself and who he wanted to be as an adult.
He attributes his ability to solve problems, desire to help people, and his consideration of different opportunities within situations to his mother and father.
“That’s definitely translated into my life, and I hope to pass that down to my own kids someday,” he said.
Bryan said his decision to go to Durham Tech before transitioning to a four-year institution is a path he recommends.
“Students should pursue their passion”, he said. “It’s going to be a long journey, and it's definitely better for you to do something you love doing.”
He knows for first-generation students, the thought of going to college can be daunting.
“It’s OK to be uncertain. It’s OK to be afraid – I'll admit I was afraid. … But take advantage of the situation,” he said. “Look at community college, look at dual-enrollment. You have to look at what you want for yourself and what you want for the next generation. You got this.”