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Norfolkan honored for studies, hard work

Norfolkan honored for studies, hard work

NORFOLK, Neb. – Maria Hernandez Chaclan of Norfolk has been chosen as the September 2023 TRIO-CSP student of the month at Northeast Community College.

The daughter of Lidia Chalan of Norfolk, Maria is completing her degree here at Northeast Community College and will graduate in May 2024 with her associate of science in Pre-Professional Veterinary Sciences. 

After her graduation, Maria plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal science and then move on to Iowa State University to earn her doctoral degree in veterinary science.   

Maria has career aspirations of becoming a veterinarian with her own clinic somewhere in Nebraska. She has grown up surrounded by animals and has always dreamed of being able to help them in every way possible.  

Maria is a first-generation college student and understands the importance and opportunities that a college education will provide her. Her dedication to gaining knowledge and hard work ethic shines through in everything she does. 

While at Northeast, Maria has been an active member of the TRIO club and provides the perfect role model to other TRIO students. She works part-time at Northeast and Scooter’s Coffee as a barista. 

Maria has persevered through her extremely rigorous college course work and has maintained a GPA of 3.0. In her personal life, Maria credits her mother, Lidia, with always inspiring her to work as hard as she can to achieve her dreams.

“My mom inspires me because she has an amazing work ethic and she has always told us growing up that if you work hard for something you want, you will achieve it,” Maria said.

Maria also credits TRIO Adviser Denise Richling with being a positive role model in her life.

“Denise is such an inspiring person and has always been so encouraging and supportive while I achieve my dreams. She always gives 110% to making sure I’m on track to achieve my educational goals,” Maria said.
Maria has a great support system at Northeast that she has relied on, and that have helped her on her academic journey. She credits multiple Northeast staff members with making a positive impact on her. 
Her coworker, Carol, had this to say about working with Maria, “This girl is do dedicated to her education. She is conscious of her grades. With all this determination, she still works two jobs. She is a true rock star!” 

Richling, her TRIO adviser, had this to say about Maria, “Maria is one of the most hard-working students I have worked with during my time at Northeast. Maria has persevered through a lot during her time as a student and continues to work hard every day. I can’t wait to watch Maria achieve her dreams and becoming one of the best vets in the business!” 

Photo ID: Maria Hernandez Chaclan (Northeast Community College)