GTF Grant Success Story #6: Mirella Ornelas

When Mirella Ornelas began her journey as a student at Howard College in 2018, she had no idea of the challenges that she would face in the coming years. With the beginning of COVID in 2020, she encountered a number of unexpected financial issues that resulted in her taking in five children at the time. Her family of two became a family of seven overnight and grew even further after her nephew was born. Because of all of the stress she was under, Mirella thought seriously about dropping out of school, but she found the strength to persevere. As a result of her hard work and tenacity, she was able to continue with her schooling and has already completed her first year in the ADN RN program at Howard College. She hopes to graduate with her Associate’s degree in the Pre-med program in December 2023, and with her ADN RN in May 2024, eventually going on to become a Nurse Practitioner. 

To be eligible to apply to programs for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Mirella needed one final course in Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Although she could have taken this class in Spring 2023, she elected to wait and take it as a Summer class because she wanted to be able to dedicate all of her time to her nursing classes during the Spring semester and felt that an additional class would be too much stress. However, Howard College did not offer a class in Nutrition and Diet Therapy during Summer 2023. It was then that Mirella’s advisor at Howard College told her about digital course sharing through DigiTex powered by Acadeum and helped her to sign up for the class that she needed. Mirella said that had she not been able to take this class in Summer 2023, she would likely have had to wait an additional year before she would have been able to apply for any BSN programs since this class is a prerequisite to those programs.

Mirella reports that her experience with the course has been very positive. Aside from the fact that she needed to have a certain quality of wifi to be able to take her exams, she said that everything else has gone smoothly for her. She found her instructor to be very easy to work with and responsive to questions, while the textbook was easy to understand and incorporated helpful illustrations. In contrast to the classes she has taken previously, which have covered a great deal of material in a short amount of time, Mirella says that her Nutrition and Diet Therapy class has gone at a slower pace and has introduced a lot of detail to better explain the effects of nutrition on the human body. Overall, she has found the course very helpful and says that it has helped to better prepare her for success in her upcoming classes.

For any students who are interested in taking DigiTex classes through digital course sharing powered by Acadeum, Mirella advises, “Definitely take advantage of emailing your instructors and maintaining good communication with them. Even though meeting with them isn’t in person, they are still here to help and are just as interested in our success as we are.” With all of her perseverance through the challenges of life, we know that Mirella will be successful in whatever she sets her mind to!