Karla Portillo: Class of 2016

Karla+Portillo+currently+attends+Southeastern+University+in+Lakeland%2C+FL.+

Evelyn Montegomery

Karla Portillo currently attends Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL.

Karen Portillo, Staff Writer

Graduating from Southeastern University, Santaluces Alumni, Karla Portillo will soon become a Registered Nurse. After graduating with the class of 2016, Karla moved four hours away from home to spend her next four years at Southeastern University. SEU is “a Christ-centered institution of higher learning” which accommodates its students with low classroom sizes, allowing them to engage in one-on-one learning with their professors. “I decided to attend SEU because it’s a private university that has a smaller student to professor ratio which allows me to have a close relationship with them. More importantly, it’s a Christian college that helps us grow in our relationship with God,” mentioned Portillo.

In less than three months, Karla will graduate with her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. “I chose to major in nursing because I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field to help people. I also have a couple of family members who are nurses that motivated and guided me into the field,” recalled Karla. Once she passes her boards, Karla hopes to work at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital and specialize in the NICU department which stands for the neonatal intensive care unit.

Throughout her four years of college, Portillo has earned many achievements she takes pride in. As of now, she has earned a position on the Dean’s list every semester, she was awarded a spot in the Florida Nursing Student’s Association, and is a member of the Omega Chi Sigma Nursing Honors Society. Alongside the nursing program, Portillo is involved in community clinicals where she gets to counsel lower-income families with their finances and help them obtain food.

During her time in Santaluces, Karla graduated in the top 10% of her class and was a member National Honors Society, French Honors Society, and Science Honors Society. “I truly enjoyed all of the teachers I had in high school. Every single one of them believed in me and counseled me to never give up on my dreams, such as Ms. Walters. She was one of the teachers that really prepared me for college. I wrote my first ever resume in her class which was something that is really shocking to look back at,” commented Karla.

As a first-generation college student, Karla has learned many lessons that she is proud to share with her younger sister as she gets ready to head off to college. “As a first-gen student, I didn’t have access to guidance during the application process which was difficult for me to do on my own. Despite the struggle, I was able to do it by searching up my questions and asking others for help. Most importantly, it has helped me become more mature and independent to the point where I know I can make my own decisions without having to feel pressured by others.”

During her free time, Portillo enjoys going out with her friends and trying different restaurants in the Tampa area. Currently, her favorite restaurant is Bar Taco because of its unique taste of tacos and lively environment.

In her future, Karla hopes to go back to school to earn her Master’s degree and participate in a preceptorship to become a leader for colleges in the clinical setting. As for high schoolers, she advises, “You don’t always have to have a declared major right when you go into college. Although it is better to have a plan, you still have time to decide because you keep on growing and your mentality changes. Choose something that you’ll love to do for the rest of your life.”

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