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Keyla Ayala came to the U.S. from Caracas, Venezuela with the goal of getting her education and building a better life for herself and her family back home. She has an aunt who lives in Columbus and encouraged her to explore attending Columbus State.
“When I looked at Columbus State and discovered how affordable it was, I was very excited – I could get my education and also save a lot of money!” says Keyla.
When Keyla came to Columbus State to learn about the campus and the programs, she got even more excited about all of the opportunities.
“The campus is so nice and there are so many resources, from the library to the technology and student services. Plus the transfer partnerships make it possible to complete the first two years of my bachelor’s degree and then transfer to a four year university.”
Another thing that struck Keyla was the diversity of Columbus State’s student body. “It was the first time I had been in a situation with people from so many different backgrounds. I was amazed and really opened my eyes to the world.”
Being new to Columbus, Keyla was eager to build connections, and her aunt told her that getting involved in volunteering was a great way to meet people. Keyla started volunteering her time at the Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center, where she met a member of Columbus State Student Ambassadors program who came in to volunteer as well.
“We started talking about the program and she encouraged me to apply … and now I am not only a student ambassador but an Orientation Leader at Columbus State!”
Through the Student Ambassador Leadership Program, Phi Theta Kappa, the PONO Diversity Learning Community, and other campus activities, Keyla has made a group of friends she considers her second family. She also created the Latin American Student Association (LASA) because she saw the need to unite and help the Latino community at CSCC.
“The thing I love most about Columbus state is the relationships you build – with other students, with the faculty and with the staff. Everyone is so helpful. They work with you until they have your problem solved.” Keyla has used many of the college’s student services including tutoring, academic advising and the writing center.
Keyla’s professional goal is to pursue a career in fashion merchandising. Working with advisors from both Columbus State and Capital University, she has a firm plan to earn her bachelor’s degree.
“Columbus State has really changed the way I look at the world. I’ve been able to define my goals, and I have a plan to get there. I’ll be graduating in the spring and transferring to Capital University to major in marketing and international business. I’m so excited about what my future looks like.”