Making Her Way from Ecuador to the United States, Student Finds her Career Path at Berkeley College

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122


With an AAS in Health Services Administration, Young Mother Earns Job Promotion and Inspires Her Children

 Berkeley College

See caption below.

Martha Lucia Chavez of Landing, NJ, went to high school where she grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After she graduated, she joined a convent community and was sent to school to become a teacher. That is when her life experience began to reveal her determination and her discovery of what career she would pursue.

Ms. Lucia Chavez left the convent life, and at her father’s request, enrolled in college for engineering. She persevered through one semester, but knew it was not for her. At age 21, with her father’s family already in the United States, she joined her family to start her life over in New Jersey.

Ms. Lucia Chavez took English as a Second Language courses at the local community college. Following her interest in helping people, she started work as a hospice aide, and then became a medication technician. She enjoyed working with elderly patients and began to see her compassion as an asset. 

At first Ms. Lucia Chavez enrolled in a nursing school program at her local community college, but after learning about the Health Services Administration program at Berkeley College, she decided to transfer. Now she sees her hard work paying off, and plans to become an Assisted Living Administrator. In addition to earning her Associate’s degree last year, she became a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and immediately enrolled at Berkeley College to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, her employer, Mount Arlington Senior Living in Mount Arlington, NJ, promoted her to the position of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Unit Coordinator.

Twelve years after coming to the United States, Ms. Lucia Chavez is living the American dream. Married with three children, working full-time in a career that she loves, and enrolled in college full-time, she knows it is worth the effort.

“If I better myself it also inspires others to do likewise,” she said. “Even my children are more inclined to do their homework because they see me doing mine.”

Photo Caption: Martha Lucia Chavez of Landing, NJ (left), dons her Commencement regalia at a Graduate Salute at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. Joining her is Helena Ross, Assistant Dean, Berkeley College Student Development and Campus Life. Ms. Lucia Chavez has earned an AS in Health Services Administration and is enrolled to earn a BBA in the same program. Ms. Lucia Chavez is the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Unit Coordinator at Mount Arlington Senior Living in Mount Arlington, NJ.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,100 students – including more than 440 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has five New Jersey campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For five consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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