When did you attend Temple College?

I attended Temple College from fall 2019 to spring 2021. It has been an honor being a Leopard despite only being here for a short period of time.

What made you decide to go to Temple College?

I applied to Temple College with the sole purpose of getting into the Respiratory Therapy AAS program. Most of my college education was done at Austin Community College and my goal in the spring of 2015 was to become a Physical Therapy Assistant. I was only able to take three classes each semester at ACC due to being out of district (I live in Pflugerville). I could not afford to take more classes each semester, which slowed down my journey to becoming a Physical Therapy Assistant. I was also working up to 30 hours a week at a gas station during my time at ACC. As I progressed with my pre-requisites and did the 40 hours of internship needed to get into the PTA program my mind changed. After my internship, I realized that I would not get fulfillment being a PTA, so I took time off school and felt lost in life. School was something I did not feel like continuing with at this point.

I decided to go to Temple College after my mother told me about the Respiratory Care program that was offered there. At first, I was very skeptical about it until I looked up the program requirements, which I had most of the pre-requisite classes already done. I was 23 years old at this point and felt like I was running out of time. I researched Respiratory Therapy and found out that they specialized in helping diagnose, treating and maintaining the cardiopulmonary system. I grew up with asthma so I felt like I could learn a lot about myself by getting in this field. The pay and only working three to four shifts a week drew me into the program. I finished my remaining pre-requisites of Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 at ACC and then I applied to Temple College in December 2018. I spoke with an advisor at the Hutto location about my transfer and seeing if the program was offered there since I lived in Pflugerville. I found out that I would have to commute to Temple, which was an hour away from where I live. At this point of my life, I was already working as a bank teller for six months and realized I would have to save as much as I could for tuition and gas money, and car maintenance related costs. I committed to furthering my education and was willing to make this one-hour commute to succeed.

What were your first impressions of Temple College?

I was very impressed with Temple College when I first visited the Temple location to do an informational session for the RT program. The respiratory therapy classes are held in the Health Sciences Center. The HSC is where I mostly spent my time during my two years at Temple College, because my classes were there. The HSC has adequate simulation rooms and respiratory equipment to help the students master skills that will be used in the hospital setting. There was a student lounge area along with adequate seating and microwaves for the students. The lounge area is where I ate my meals and had great conversations with my classmates during lunch. The gym next to the HSC building was amazing! I was able to work out and stay fit after classes and best of all it was free because I was a student. The best thing about Temple College is the staff! They are very friendly and willing to help a student in need. Having an awesome staff can make a college stand out from other colleges.

How did attending Temple College impact you?

Attending Temple College has changed my life and I am grateful. The pandemic was rough for everyone. I thought I would not graduate in time and I lost motivation when I heard of the quarantine. Temple was able to adapt and move our classes to virtual learning which meant I could stay on track. My in hospital clinicals were cancelled during quarantine but as summer approached our class was allowed to meet up on campus again and allowed to return to clinicals as long as we adhered to school and hospital protocols. I am grateful to the Temple College Foundation and the Rotary Club for giving me a $2,000 scholarship. Along with the CARES grants and Pell Grants, I was able to pay for my school and graduate debt free! This helped motivate me to keep going and keep my head up during the rough year of 2020. The two years I spent at Temple College have thought me so much about myself and my hidden potential. It gave me friendships that will last a lifetime, a chance at love that I have always dreamt of, and a chance at bettering my life. I would like to thank all the staff at Temple College, the Temple College Foundation and the Rotary Club for believing in me!

  • Denjo Bahia