Adan Torres began his first campus experience intentionally getting lost, discovering what ECC had to offer and what was happening around campus. "My favorite thing to do with a new location that I will ultimately be spending a lot of time in is to get lost, to explore," said Torres.
As a TRiO Student Support Services and ESL Coordinator since 2017, Torres brings his curiosity and excitement to guide students on their path toward success. "I feel like my greatest accomplishments come vicariously through my students and them being successful and happy with what they do and their future endeavors," said Torres.
Keep reading to learn more about Torres's work with AmeriCorps and how perseverance has led him through many moments in his life.
In your words, what do you do at ECC? What do you want others to know about your job? What I would like others to know about my job is that I serve as a gateway to when students don't know which way to go [with their future]. I offer them solutions about where to go and suggestions on what to do to guide them to where they need to be. Also, I assist students in making sure they develop in different ways to become more successful and more self-disciplined individuals.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you've been at ECC? I have had many accomplishments working at ECC. Still, I can't choose one because I feel like my most significant accomplishments come vicariously through every one of my students and them being successful and happy with what they do and their future endeavors.
If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Computer science - because the world is shifting to an intensely technological world. I feel that this field will become more competitive and could be a requirement early on in education. Plus, I could assist my students better by understanding the technology they use every day.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? My pre-COVID hobby was playing basketball. I enjoyed the summer semesters with my colleagues because there would be days where we would play ball, and I enjoyed connecting and establishing a stronger network through similar interests - it comes naturally on the court!
Where is the best place you've traveled? Or where would you like to visit? I don't know if there is a "best" place for travel because everywhere has hidden gems. However, one of my favorite places I've traveled to is Jamaica. One of my best friends is a people person, and we were able to get 13 people on the trip and was a fantastic experience. We all had different opinions and were of diverse backgrounds, and we worked well together to make the vacation a memorable one.
You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? Persevere. You may not know what someone is struggling with, and I hope that if I can change at least one person's mind for the better, it will all be worth it. For someone to see the word, think of their problems, and then have a feeling of "I can keep going even throughout all this turmoil." That would be the goal.
Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia as a child. After the school informed my family and me that I could be placed in special education, away from my friends, I chose that day to work hard on my reading skills because I couldn't let go of my best friend. After working on it and struggling in reading, I eventually brought my reading level up to where I could stay in my class with my friends.
What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Every job I have had was fun, and I learned something from it. I used to work at a manufacturing staffing agency under the AmeriCorps umbrella. It was a different place for me because I was used to working with people my age, and this job was working with older adults. It was also challenging to receive older applicants, who worried that I would not be able to help them because of my age. When people underestimate me, I become a different being because I have the thought in my mind - "Show them what you're made of; show them they are wrong."
What was your most valuable life lesson? It's always easy to quit because that is the end of whatever you are doing but never give up. They are two completely different things.
Complete this sentence: "I enjoy working at ECC because … “ The staff and students have made this environment feel like home. I can have meaningful conversations, small talk, speak about current events, all in a safe environment where we value each other's opinions. This is a place where I can challenge my students to do their best and see their happy faces when they accomplish something they thought they would never be able to and for me to be a difference-maker in their journey.