Student Success Stories
Bell Goes from Behind the Wheel to the Classroom
By: Scott Godley
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Then again, sometimes it isn’t.
Valerie Bell knew she was burnt out with her job when going to work no longer was a priority. In 1996 she left her nursing gig in Big Spring, Texas for Houston to be closer to her sister and niece as well as search for a new career. But this search process had to be quick.
“When I decided to get out of nursing I did not have the time or money to go back to school for another year or two to learn something else,” Bell said. More...
Mother Battles Through Personal Tragedy to Become Certified Nurse Aide
By: Scott Godley
It has been nearly six months since Loreta Rutherford had to make the toughest decision of her life. She had not seen her father since leaving the Philippines in 1999. And now he was dying.
The obstacle keeping Rutherford from her father’s side halfway across the global was not money so much as it was timing. The 38-year-old mother had spent the past decade raising three boys in East Houston – one 9-year-old and a pair of 6-year-old twins. Earlier this year she finally pursued her dream of becoming a Certified Nurse Aide through HCC’s School of Continuing Education. She completed the program in March 2010 at HCC’s Eastside campus and now only needed to pass the state’s CNA exam to be fully certified. More...
Culinary Arts alum, 1995
Teaches cooking at H-E-B’s Cooking Connection, has 20 years of culinary experience at some of Houston’s best restaurants.
Med-Im Development, Inc.
Received Radiography degree from HCC and made his fortune by opening radiography clinics. Has sold most of the clinics. Also owns a partial interest in the Ibizia restaurant and several properties downtown HCC alum, Radiology
Married to Tracy Vaught, owner of the Backstreet Cafe. In the early 90s, Ortega was hired as a busboy/dishwasher. When Ortega showed a knack for cooking, Vaught offered the eighth-grade educated Mexico native a chance to go to school. He enrolled at HCC and graduated in 1992. The two were married in 1994 and now have an 11 year old daughter, Sophia.