Campus and Community

Student Commencement Speaker Motivated By Family, Self-Confidence

Jacmmie Turcios
Photo: Thomas B. Shea

With Houston being the most diverse city in the United States, it comes as no surprise that the Marilyn Davies College of Business student commencement speaker, Jacmmie Turcios, came to Houston via her native country of Honduras. During the college’s Graduate Programs Commencement Ceremony on May 18, she will earn her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Supply Chain Management.

Turcios arrived in Houston at the age of 17, speaking very limited English. Within a year and a half, she graduated as the valedictorian from Houston Independent School District’s Liberty High School, a specialized school that caters to Houston’s immigrant population.

Turcios is a first-generation college student and credits her son as the single most motivating factor in her life, to this point. For her, earning an MBA is proof that with every generation, we improve. She has high hopes for her son and is proud to have him watching her walk across the stage today.

“It was hard not to give up,” Turcios said. “My reason to keep going is my son.”

Before earning first her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and now her MBA at the University of Houston- Downtown, Turcios attended Texas Southern University, Houston Community College and Lone Star College. When it came time to transfer to a university, Turcios sought out an institution that offered flexibility and affordability. She found that UHD met those needs and more. She was able to attend UHD and take care of her son while working her way up at a catering business from a private school food server to the Operations and Accounting Manager, but it wasn’t easy.

“It’s difficult to hear people say that they don’t believe in you,” said Turcios. “For me though, it made me say, ‘I’m going to show you I can do this.’”

Turcios is a prime example of Gator Grit and reflects UHD’s commitment to its transfer students. Through partnerships with community colleges, such as HCC and LSC, students have opportunities to seamlessly transition from associate’s programs into undergraduate majors at UHD. Those seeking to continue their studies at UHD benefit from resources and events, like Transfer Thursday, which offers admission counseling, information on scholarship opportunities, and advising.