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June 08, 2008

The family is one of nature's masterpieces. ~George Santayana

Zulma Alfonso
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Spring 2012

Deep family roots can be delightful, wonderfully prepossessing. The small city of Cidra lies directly inland on the island of Puerto Rico. "El Pueblo de la Eterna Primavera," the city's name means "the place of eternal springtime." Moreover, Zulma Alfonso grew up there.  

"Cidra had only dirt roads," Zulma remembers, "until I was about six years old." 

Now in her mid-thirties, Zulma a full-time student in the work study program at South University's West Palm Beach campus.  Today, Zulma lives in Palm Beach Gardens and wants to practice nursing in her community some day. 

As a child, Zulma loved spending time with her family. After school, it was part of the routine to come home and help her mother with housework. However, after cooking and other chores, she could hardly wait for the daily visit to spend time with her grandparents.

Zulma's grandparents have a small five-acre farm where she would spend time almost every afternoon, also helping her grandparents, until it was time to go home for dinner. Hard work has never been an obstacle, but rather, a pleasurable challenge for Zulma.

As a wife and mother of two, Zulma is also a full-time student who works in the Registrar's Office at South University. At home, she home schools her two-year-old son, Sebastian, and eleven-year-old daughter, Lyanies, with the support of her husband, Israel, and in addition to caring for her family, Zulma is working on her degree in Health Science at South University. She hopes to enter the nursing program at South University in the Fall of 2009. 

"My family, my children and my husband, they are my fuel. It has always been this way," she smiles in telling. 

South University offered Zulma some of her first intensive classes in English. Before her studies in Healthcare Management, Zulma studied social work in Puerto Rico. 

"My classes at South University have truly moved me forward. My public speaking class shattered my insecurities and gave me so much more self-confidence about telling the world who I am and what I have to offer! I quickly let go of many self-doubts and found I had a new fearlessness to ‘be myself' no matter where -- or in what circumstances -- I found myself."