2015 Virtual Commencement

Robert Maher Award Recipient

David Osorio
Robert Maher Recipient 2015

During his time at Berkeley College, David Osorio has personified what defines our students – the perseverance to succeed against all odds. He is a perfect example of a student who strives to grow in all aspects of life and who takes advantage of all the college experience has to offer.

Imagine a nine year old boy looking at his mother who had nothing but two suitcases and a dream of a fresh start, a new beginning. The boy was as yet too young to understand the dream; all he remembers from that moment was his mother's tears and her voice calmly saying "everything will be okay."

That nine year old boy was David, over 15 years ago. He clearly recalls sitting on top of the suitcases in Miami International Airport having recently arrived from Colombia. He had no idea where he was or why everyone was speaking a different language; all he knew was that he was not going to see his family for a very long time.

Since then, David has had to overcome the many challenges and disadvantages of growing up as an American while being marginalized from all of the benefits of officially being an American. Growing up as an undocumented immigrant was not easy. It resulted in several sleepless nights from carrying the emotional burden of constantly looking over his shoulder. And because of his status, David, himself, was wholly responsible for his college tuition, fees, and living expenses, with no grants or financial aid.

However, thanks to an amendment in the 2012 legislation known as the "Dream Act," David was given the opportunity to legally live and work in the country he has called home since the age of 9.

At Berkeley College, David has achieved and maintained at 4.0 GPA. He has been a recipient of many awards and acknowledgements including merit-based institutional grants and the ARC/STSA student scholarship. He has been named Outstanding Student of the Quarter and been nominated to partner with the VIA agency on the college-wide marketing campaign. He has served as an Orientation Leader and representative of Student Government. Moreover, throughout David's time at Berkeley, he has consistently maintained employment in several positions including Peer Tutor in the Academic Support Center at Clifton. David says, "No matter what, we did everything we needed to keep me enrolled in school."

David shares that being homeless at the airport when he was nine was probably the lowest point of his life. He credits his mother and her ability to "push us pass that point in our lives" to his success. Two years ago, David had no idea what a Surgical Technologist was. He never conceptualized how a doctor would need a "right hand man" to assist throughout surgery.

Now, standing here as a graduate of Berkeley College with a Associates degree in Surgical Technology, accepting this award is one of his proudest moments.

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