Family just got a little bigger for Blue Island resident Carlos Madera, a student in the Nursing Program at Moraine Valley.

“I’ve made a lot of friends at Moraine Valley,” Carlos said. “To be honest, I had some issues going on outside of school, and was considering dropping out, but the others in my classes were telling me, ‘No, you can’t drop.’ You see, I’ve tutored some of the other nursing students so they were saying to me, ‘You’re pushing us through, so now we’re pushing you through.’ My peers, my classmates have become like family.”

Before transferring to the main campus in Palos Hills, Carlos completed many of his general education requirements at the Education Center at Blue Island, including speech, art, psychology, and music classes. “I received a scholarship to attend school in Blue Island and that helped a lot. Plus, it was really convenient being so close to home. Didn’t need to spend as much on gas either,” he said.  “I loved the instructors at Blue Island. They are all such nice people.”

Upon graduation from Moraine Valley, Carlos hopes to attend medical school. Where does he see himself in 10 years? “I’d like to move to the countryside in Texas and open my own clinic,” he said. “I’d also like to conduct medical research on homeopathic solutions for cancer and other chronic and life-threatening diseases. In my family there is a doctor and a dentist, and my mom’s an optometrist. All of my mom’s side is in the medical field.”  He says if medical school isn’t an option, he will work toward a Master of Science in nursing.

In the meantime, he remains active in his community and at Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, his alma mater, where Carlos teaches English as a Second Language courses. “I’ve been volunteering for four years, and I’m still doing it. I’ve taught about 50 or 60 people to speak English, and I’ve even taught some people to read,” he said. “I really enjoy helping people.”