Being a single father and going to school full-time isn’t easy, but Texas Southmost College second-year sonography student Patrick Auditore is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s been rough,” Auditore said. “You dedicate 60-70 hours a week to this program. It wasn’t just a new schedule, but also dealing with an 11-year-old son and being on my own. I’ve had a lot of help from my parents and my ex-wife. My son understands. I want to set an example for him to get his education early in life and not do what I did.”
Born in New York City to a Sicilian father and Ecuadorean mother, Auditore’s family moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1980 when he was two years old. After graduating from Brownsville Hanna High School, he went into the work force and took some college courses before dropping out to start a family.
He attempted a return back to school in 2006. However, shortly after the birth of his son, Auditore put college on hold again to focus on family and work.
A few more years of working as a warehouse supervisor and going through a divorce, Auditore realized that he wanted a career, not a job. He decided that the medical field was the best fit for him and was accepted into the TSC Sonography Program in August 2014.
“It’s a very professional program, every day we had class and every other day we had lab,” Auditore explained. “On top of that we had to learn how to operate the ultra sound machines, but it didn’t end there. We didn’t go home when class ended. We had to stay and practice the technique we were taught. We had to volunteer to be in the lab to improve. We would put in 10-hour days and we would volunteer to come in as a group on the weekends. Whenever we had a few hours of time, we would spend it with our families or sleeping.”
After getting through the first year of the rigorous program, Auditore knows that the sleepless nights and long weekends are going to be worth it. He plans to graduate in spring 2016.
“I look at my son, the people that have supported me, and I know it’s going to be worth it,” Auditore said. “I tell myself, ‘just stick with it.’ And it has been worth it. Even though I’m still in class and it’s been difficult, it’s been worth it. One more year to go.”
What’s your dream?
“My dream is to work and teach in the medical field, support my family and graduate. My ultimate goal is to get my associate degree, start working, get my bachelors and eventually teach. I love to teach.”
What does TSC mean to you?
“It means that someone my age can come in, apply themselves and get a career opportunity. Without these kind of programs, I would probably still be looking for a job. TSC has meant the world to me.”
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