Housatonic Community College alumna, Tiffany Teixeira, was crowned Miss Connecticut 2016 earlier this year.
Tiffany graduated from Housatonic in 2011 with an Associate of Science Degree and continued her education at Quinnipiac University earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is now a registered critical care nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven pursuing a doctorate degree.
Tiffany says her professional “dream come true” would not have been possible without the opportunity to attend Housatonic.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your background in Bridgeport? How did you arrive at Housatonic Community College?
A: My dad came here from Portugal, my mom from Angola. They met at Central High School in Bridgeport and I grew up attending Bridgeport Public Schools. I could not afford a four-year college out of high school and didn't want the financial burden for my dad who was already struggling to keep our family above water.
Q: How did you prepare for college?
A: I wanted to pursue nursing, so I took as many science classes as I could at Central Magnet High School. I also signed up for a Certified Nursing Assistant course (CNA) at HCC to make sure it was the right career for me.
Q: How has HCC helped you succeed?
A: I felt at home working with professors who knew me well. They really cared about my long-term advancement and prepared me as an individual for my next step in life.
Q: Are there any obstacles you had to overcome as a student?
A: The biggest challenge was not succumbing to the stigma attached to growing up in an inner city. There’s an outside expectation that you will not amount to much and that it’s ok to not achieve more.
Q: Do you have any role models in your life?
A: Yes, my aunt. She attended Housatonic and later graduated from Bridgeport Hospital’s nursing program. She told me that every day you work as a nurse you touch someone's life.
Q: What would you say to a legislator who might cut funding to higher education?
A: Affordable education should always be available. If you cut funds, you contribute to the gap between rich and poor. You won’t allow people to advance. Housatonic sent me in the right direction. I would hate to see that taken away from anyone else.
Q: What do you like about living in Bridgeport?
A: You can get a cultural education by walking right outside your door. It’s a melting pot of different neighborhood traditions and Bridgeport embraces that diversity.