Daughters help mom make way through college

Daughters help mom make way through college

Friday, October 21, 2011

Media Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

Cami Zapata has held a number of jobs in her lifetime but never felt like she had a career. That is, until today.

The 45-year-old is attending college for the first time, studying to earn an associate degree from OTC in respiratory therapy and a certificate in pharmacy technician.

Two of her daughters currently attend OTC and inspired their mother to enroll in classes.

“After seeing what my family could do with a good education and watching them going after their dreams, I decided it was time for me to build onto my experiences. I never tried college. It’s been an experience. I know whatever I finish will only benefit me in several ways,” said Zapata.

The Springfield resident operated a home daycare for 14 years and also worked in the medical field, in retail sales, in a pharmacy and as an office worker. While she enjoyed the work, she kept looking for something that was more than just a job. She wanted a career.

Her daughter Cassie, 22, is studying graphic arts, and Cheyenne, 16, a junior at Glendale High School, is studying electronic media production through the OTC Career Center. Both of them urged their mother to enroll at OTC to find a career.

“She wanted to go further with her education in the medical field so we encouraged her to go into whatever she wanted and we’re very proud of her,” Cassie Zapata said.

Cami Zapata, who is not working now, credits her husband and children with helping through her new life as a student.

“We are a close family. I don’t think I would have gone back if it wasn’t for them. When I said I was going to try it, they all said, ‘Go for it.’ I am, and thanks to them, I’ll succeed,” she said.

Steve Koehler is corrdinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College.