Joanna Sosa, 21, plans to graduate in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services with a deaf concentration and a minor in biology. As a member of the Rehab Club and Pre-Physician Assistant Society, she has participated in numerous volunteer activities including Down’s Syndrome Awareness and Out of Darkness Suicide Awareness events. Sosa has also worked on campus as a mentor with the Ambassador group and as a teacher at the Learning Assistance Center. She is currently completing an internship with Easter Seals RGV. Sosa said she is grateful for the lifelong support she has had from her parents Alex and Yolanda Sosa, whom she said “gave her wings to fly.”
Awards/Honors: Cash & Carry, Fall 2011; Kiwanis Scholarship, Fall 2011; Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Fall 2011; UTPA Assistance Scholarship, Fall 2011; Top 10% Scholarship, Fall 2011; Dean’s List, Fall 2011, Spring and Fall 2013, and Spring and Fall 2014; Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Spring 2012; and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, Spring 2015.
What are your plans after graduation? Following my graduation in May 2015, I plan to continue my education and apply to various physician assistant master’s programs.
Do you plan to stay in the Valley? It depends where my master’s program takes me in Texas. If I must leave then I hope to gain more knowledge and experience in another place. I would love to return to the Valley and work in the community where I was raised and be able to give good quality health care to the people in the community.
What has your education done for you? My education has helped me become more aware of my surroundings; I am thankful for having the opportunity to gain all the knowledge that I have at UTPA. While I have been part of the Rio Grande Valley all my life, UTPA has opened new doors to me and shown me what it truly means to appreciate my culture and what the Valley offers. It has also given me the strength to one day explore the world with the knowledge that I can always come back to my RGV home.
How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My UTPA experience has been rewarding in every way. I have met many amazing students, professors and staff who have pushed me to be successful and to never ever give up on my career dreams. Several of my professors have taught me to appreciate life and pushed me to continue my education as a lifelong learner. They have given me confidence to become a successful student and to continue my education. I will forever be grateful to have been part of the UTPA family.
What is your best tip for success? To succeed, a person must always have patience and believe in oneself. Never give up even when everything is against you. Be patient and ask questions; someone is always willing to help.
What advice do you have for college-bound students? College is definitely not easy but if you can accomplish this, then you can accomplish anything in life. You will be under pressure and have many responsibilities for each class. If you believe in yourself and focus on your goal of graduating one day then you can succeed. Also, enjoy every moment; your time here will help you grow and be more successful in life.