Daisy Solares

Age: 24
Hometown: Georgetown
Education: 2010 Sussex Central High graduate, 2014 Delaware Technical Community College with associate degree in respiratory therapy

Daisy Solares is a respiratory therapist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Daisy Solares wanted to go away to college in a different city and have the “college experience,” but the cost was prohibitive for her family. So she came up with another way to continue her education. She juggled three jobs, enrolled in Delaware Technical Community College, and studied for an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. Now she works at a great hospital, living debt-free in a city she loves and makes a comfortable $50,000 a year. Plus, because the hospital pays for her to continue her education, Daisy is taking classes to further her education to become a nurse anesthetist.

Looking back, Daisy is so glad she made the choices she did, but it was difficult at times. Late at night when she was exhausted from working so much and overwhelmed by homework, she wanted to quit. But she didn’t. Her family kept her motivated.

“I was always in the counselor’s office . . . making sure I had everything in line.”

Griselda Vásquez

Griselda once thought her family could never afford to send her eldest daughter to college. But they found solutions.

Though Daisy’s mother, Griselda Vásquez, said she and her husband didn’t make enough money to pay Daisy’s college fees with their poultry plant jobs, she encouraged her emotionally. For other parents with children who want to go to college, she says to encourage them with positive words and never use negative ones. As Daisy was planning out her strategy and through difficult times when she would become discouraged, Griselda told her, “You can do it, you’re brave, and you’re going to be the pride of the family.” Those words of confidence strengthened and inspired Daisy to keep working and going to school. As a result, she became a successful, happy college graduate.

“Don’t tell them that it’s a lot of money, that they won’t be able to do it. Because that’s what I used to think.”

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