- High School: Nottingham, Class of 2015
- Major at OCC: Engineering Science
Natalia Montilla’s college experience started while she was attending Nottingham High School thanks to the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP), an organization which provides assistance to students who may be at risk or underprepared for college or a career. “Through LPP I was able to take summer classes here for free. LPP helped me get my feet wet so when I became a student full-time I was more prepared.”
Montilla enrolled in the College’s Engineering Science major and was accepted into the STEM Scholars program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Montilla’s area of study is one of nine STEM-related majors the College offers.
Montilla’s support system on campus includes the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) and Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (L-SAMP). “Both have provided me the opportunity to meet students with similar mindsets. I’ve made a lot of friends who have similar classes so there is always someone I can ask if I need help with a project.”
In September 2016 Montilla was honored by the community-wide Hispanic Heritage Month Committee for her accomplishments while in high school and college. She received an award at the opening ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month, La Casitas “Balcon Criollo.”
Montilla will earn her associate degree in 2017. She plans to pursue both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering. She credits OCC and the organizations she has been a part of with helping her build a strong foundation. “I’ve felt so comfortable here. There is always someone available who can help you. Every new connection I make is so helpful. You can really succeed at OCC as long as you are willing to put yourself out there.”