Ray of Hope: Adliray Pacheco's Journey at RVC

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Adliray Pacheco faced significant challenges when she dropped out of school at 16. Uncertain about her future but driven by a passion for working with children, Adliray knew she needed to make a change.

Adliray Pacheco

Adliray Pacheco was a student speaker during the GED Completion Ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

With unwavering support from her family, especially her mom and brothers, she decided to pursue her GED—a crucial step toward achieving her dreams.

Her mom discovered information about Rock Valley College's (RVC) GED program online, and Adliray seized the opportunity. Around the same time, she overheard conversations among teachers about the shortage of childcare providers at her younger brother's daycare. This rekindled her love for working with children and inspired her to enroll in RVC's Early Childhood Education program.

Pamela Thompson, Career Specialist, admired Adliray's positive spirit and determination. "I met Adliray before she completed her GED testing, and we talked about her desire to be an Early Childhood teacher and someday own her own Child Care Center. She works diligently and has achieved so much in a short time, from earning her State of Illinois High School Diploma to attending RVC classes and gaining employment at Amazon. Her determination is inspiring. To you from me (Ms. Pam)…Adliray, you have held on to your beliefs, followed your spiritual instincts, found your voice, and chosen a path that will honor who you are. Thrive on, Adliray. 'The Best is Yet to Come!'"

Miki Bacino, a Professor in the Communication Department, felt an immediate connection with Adliray, who goes by Ray. They shared similar stories of overcoming obstacles early in life.

"Ray has been dedicated and devoted to my class from day one. I was a single mother since I was 18 years old, and I share my story of struggling to get my degrees, at the beginning of every semester. Ray was quick to share with me that she is also struggling in a family in which going to college is against the odds and where her family does not really understand what college is. There are two things about Ray that stand out to me that tell me she will succeed. The first is her ability to overcome obstacles that may get in her way. She has figured out how to get into college and succeed in her classes. The second is her positive spirit, all the time and every day. She brings a ray of sunshine into class that tells me nothing can bring her down. She has a bright future ahead of her. Her positive spirit and resilience are remarkable. She has a bright future ahead of her."

With the encouragement of mentors like Lori, Pam, Mara, and Rose, Adliray felt more confident than ever. She has been diligently working toward her Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate, which will help her achieve her dream career in childcare. "Adliray is an amazing student with great focus, motivation, and a genuine passion for childhood education," said Mara Lopez, Coordinator of Diverse Student Enrollment. "She has been overcoming any obstacles to accomplish her goal of becoming an educator."

Adliray's journey has been challenging, but her determination never wavered. Being the first in her family to attend college fills her with pride. At RVC, she found a sense of belonging and purpose, confident she is on the right path to achieving her dreams.

Her ultimate goal is to earn her associate's degree and Early Childhood Certificate from RVC, and eventually open her own daycare center to create a loving and nurturing environment for children. Adliray proudly promotes RVC to family and friends, embodying the college's supportive and resourceful spirit.

"Lori (Romero) told me that I am a walking advertisement for Rock Valley because I told my best friend from Florida and my cousin from New York that the GED program is the best and RVC has the resources to help you with your career in the future," Adliray shares.

Adliray's journey reached a significant milestone when she served as a student speaker during the GED Completion Ceremony on May 16, 2024.