Sofia Avila receives Academic Excellence Award

Sofia Avila receives Academic Excellence Award  

 Durham Tech student Sofia Avila has been selected as the 2024 Academic Excellence Award recipient for the College.

She was honored at the Executive Leadership Team meeting for the College on Friday, April 26.

Avila, a native of Honduras, attended a high school there before her family sought political asylum and came to the United States. Avila said her schooling got a little muddled at that point as the senior year in Honduras is 11th grade.

“I ended up in 11th grade at Jordan High, part of the Durham Public School system,” Avila said.  

A counselor who took a closer look at the credits Avila had earned realized that she was only two credits shy of graduating. Avila moved into the 12th grade and finished the required two credits through dual enrollment at Durham Tech. Avila went through General Education with a focus on being a medical assistant.  

“Durham Tech opened the doors right away,” she said. “The preparation I received here in the medical assistant program has allowed me to get to know more patients, get to know my career and my purpose in my field.”

She will graduate in May 2024 with an associate degree. She will pursue her associate degree in nursing at the College.

“I work at Duke as a medical assistant.  Durham Tech has been life changing. I came to the U.S. with no idea what my life would be like,” Avila said. “When I applied for the medical assistant program, I didn’t know the medical system in the U.S. Durham Tech faculty showed me the system and how to succeed.”  

Avila said she appreciated the real-life examples that her teachers shared and the hands-on part of school. Her advisor started her on the path toward medical assistant.

Avila sees graduation as larger than most. It is a big accomplishment, but so much more.

“My graduating provides another special way to thank my family for being courageous enough to move to the U.S.,” Avila said. “And I came from nothing and now being recognized and receiving this honor is wonderful. Every day I thank God for his guidance, as well as Durham Tech and the people who make it a special place.”