For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about music and wanted to be a musician. After learning the viola in school, I taught myself to play the piano and have been playing and composing ever since. I never thought I would be able to afford to go to college, though, not only because my family couldn’t afford it, but because I have a near-total hearing disability.
Because of that disability, though, I qualified for services through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation that would help me go to school and pay for hearing aids. Unfortunately, since the goal of the program is to help people get jobs, they didn’t think music was a viable option, so they suggested I go into Nursing instead. I enrolled in the Nursing program at Spokane Falls Community College and started working towards my pre-requisites. Luckily, I was able to enroll in an elective music class with Dr. Rosi Guerrero, and after she asked me to play for her, she encouraged me to change my major to music, because she could see my true passion for it and said I had a gift worth pursuing. After I switched programs and was no longer eligible for DVR funding, she helped me get connected with Foundation scholarships that allowed me to stay in school and pursue my dream of a career in music. Later, when my hearing aids were stolen, Dr. Guerrero was again able to connect me with the Foundation, where a generous donor helped me get new hearing aids so that I could continue my education. Without the help of the Foundation, I probably would have dropped out of school.
Thanks to the support of Dr. Guerrero and the Foundation, I graduated from SFCC in June, 2014 with my Associate’s of Fine Arts degree, then went on to complete a Bachelor’s in Music from Gonzaga. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree at EWU and hope to continue on to complete my Doctorate.
I am so grateful to SFCC and Dr. Guerrero, because it’s where I was able to start pursuing my dream. I wouldn’t be where I am without SFCC and the Foundation, and I hope my story can inspire others to follow their passion. Even when the odds are stacked against you, it’s never an option to give up on yourself and your hopes and dreams.
see soren (rana) perform with the sfcc music department