TMCC alumnae Jocelyn and Veronica Madera-Camacho, along with their younger sister still in school, Daisy, have an incredible story to share. Over the course of several years, the three sisters blossomed into extraordinary individuals here at TMCC. The cornerstones of their personal and professional successes were cultivated in the very halls and classrooms that we stroll through almost each and every day. First as students, and now as employees, TMCC has become a second home to them, in many ways, and beneath this canopy, a strong connection to our community. Their tale of familial, academic, and sisterly growth is one that’s sure to warm your heart.
Happiness Is Homemade
As the oldest of the three, Veronica, 25, was the first to begin her college journey at TMCC in 2016. At the start, she could sense right away that our educational environment was humming with inclusivity and opportunity. With welcoming professors and a sparkle in her eye, she knew her decision to attend had been the right one. With wise choices come rewards, and in this case, that came gift-wrapped in a basket of our finest resources available.
College can be expensive, and an excellent way to ease the financial burden is to become a student employee. With that in mind, Veronica became the newest member of the Financial Aid team, a place where she could enhance her communication skills while making a little extra cash. When she wasn’t conversing with concerned students and parents alike, her passion for the Paralegal/Law Program manifested with each gentle press of an ink pen to schoolwork paper.
“Daisy and I go to UNR, and I can easily say, the environment is different. TMCC has always been comfortable, and there’s so many resources, too. TMCC makes it possible for you to know what those are. It’s not just that you’re here to get an education; we’re a community. We call it our second home because we’re here all the time,” Veronica said.
In December 2023, Veronica saw an opportunity within the Cashier’s Office and seized it. Someone was retiring, and the full-time account technician position would be available to apply for. So, she did, and with an illustrious resume and a panorama of skills as far as the eye can see, she got it! The talent she refined over the years was in large part due to her time as a student worker.
One day, a simple question led to a lineage of Camacho siblings who would be stepping up to the plate.
“Do you happen to have a younger sister?”
The answer, of course, was a resounding “Yes!” The era of the Camacho’s had begun! Not that it had ever stopped, really. Their mom, Vicky, as well as their older brother and sister, Christian and Katie, had already graced the TMCC corridors with their attendance many years ago. Now, the sun shone down on a younger cohort just brimming with potential.
Jocelyn, 20, made her way to TMCC in 2020, and took part in the Summer Bridge Program. Veronica had done her time as a cashier, and with a student worker post at the ready, Jocelyn lunged at the chance. It sounded solid enough, and she could uncover what she’s really made of in an atmosphere that demands persistence. You can’t make a diamond without pressure! The responsibilities that come with handling someone else's money aside, it would be lovely just to spend some more time with her sister on a regular basis.
Jocelyn had made a wonderful impression on her department, and there was an enduring aura of camaraderie that could be felt as a result of the great work they did together. The sisters would separate work life from home (sometimes easier said than done), a condition that increased their productivity as coworkers, and endowed them with serenity as friends. Her college education is ongoing still, attaining her associate of science with plans to enroll in the Dental Hygiene Program.
Jocelyn touched on the opportunity TMCC creates by embracing its distinct ethnic circles.
“I like how they’re considerate of different cultures. Especially with Hispanic students, who get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Hispanic Heritage Month. To me, it shows appreciation for the Hispanic community members who attend here,” she said.
“If I’m being quite honest, a lot of Hispanics don’t even get to go to college. To recognize their presence at a community college is a huge accomplishment because they’re probably first-generation students. To see how culture and diversity are implemented into the curriculum is amazing.”
The Family Connection Continues
Wouldn’t you know it? That timeless question was asked again.
“Do you happen to have a younger sister?”
We’re starting to notice a pattern here. Are you?
Along comes the baby of the trio, Daisy, 19. Universally hailed as the smartest Camacho sister by her own sisters, Daisy is excited to be pursuing a career in Computer Science. Her college adventure begins much like Jocelyn’s, kickstarting her road to higher education through our Summer Bridge Program. She was tentative about whether or not a job during her first year would work out, but when she heard of how fond the people in the Cashier’s Office were of Veronica and Jocelyn, it became an easier decision to make.
Daisy had always been the shy one in high school, and would feel the anxiety brewing regularly when trying to talk with other people. High school, am I right? Actively engaging in discussions with students and parents with the aim to provide clarity and information has emboldened her to use her voice from within. Now, she’s a conversation starter, having gained the confidence to keep that line of dialogue open and honest with those who have questions only the Cashier’s Office can answer.
“I let fear control my decisions for a long time. I had to find my own motivation. I definitely went through the struggles that come with being in that mindset. Summer Bridge helped me raise my confidence. It gave me hope and faith that I could do this. I don’t think I would’ve gone on had it not been for that,” Daisy said.
Remember Why You Stayed
And so, the three sisters were bestowed with a moniker by their colleagues: “The Powerpuff Girls.”
A force to reckon with, the mighty members of this sensational trinity are grateful to one of many factors that granted them their abilities and professionalism: student employment.
Even more than that, though, is their mother’s loving influence in each and every moment of their lives. Vicky is a single parent of five children, and a caretaker to her very soul. She’s lifted her girls so they can reach for the stars, and they know there’s not a single inch of space in this cosmos where she wouldn’t be rooting for them. Generous, kind, and devoted to her kids, Vicky is a shining beacon of the virtue that is love.
“Don’t give up. There have been so many situations where I questioned myself, but I kept going. Remember why you started. Find your motive, why you are here right now. My motivation is my mom. I want to give her back the life that she gave us. We chose school because it’s a way for us to achieve the dreams we’re hoping for. It was a struggle for all of us, growing up and seeing what my mom went through,” Jocelyn said.
There’s a bond here that transcends having just a normal student job, sure, and what a launch pad it’s been for their growth as individuals. Confronting their own challenges, winning and losing.
“I would let my past-self know that what scares you the most is where you need to jump in. Even if you take a chance and it’s not what you expected or hoped for. If you try, you’re not a loser. Self-confidence does wonders for you. Truly. The more you talk kindly to yourself, the more it reflects in your actions,” Daisy said.
Whatever path you choose, TMCC will have your back. Student employment is a clever move, but don’t forget the people in your life who would give up anything to see you succeed. This fact undoubtedly resonates with the Camacho sisters, and what a beautiful tune that must be to listen to.
“Don’t be afraid of change. I look at certain things in my life as blessings in disguise. Or that happened for a reason, and I’m here because of it. I’ve grown so much,” Veronica said.