Maria Arcari was born in Ecuador and came to the United States when she was 18 years old. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has lived and experienced the American and Latino cultures as part of her everyday life. “I consider being able to speak Spanish an advantage, even though when I was younger, I had to overcome many linguistic barriers in achieving my academic and professional goals,” she said. She recognized the importance of learning English, and how essential it was to her ability to succeed. She decided to attend Naugatuck Valley Community College to learn English. During her first academic year, she made the Dean’s Honor List and developed the confidence to further her education.
After leaving NVCC, Maria transferred to Post University and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She went on to attend the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, where she earned a masters degree in social work along with a forensic social work certification.
The different skills, knowledge and experience that she gained throughout her educational and professional career have formed the approach that she takes when facing a challenge or a new task. She has worked for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for over twelve years and is currently a regulatory consultant responsible for licensing programs in Connecticut.
“Naugatuck Valley Community College provided me with the opportunity and the confidence that I needed to begin my educational life,” she said. “I am grateful for the teachers who provided me with the guidance and the tools to help me achieve my goals. Today, I am enrolled in the master’s degree program in nursing and I am looking into the APRN certification.”