This post was written and contributed by Eastfield alumni Tania Ware and Franklin Ortega. Who knew you could meet your soulmate at DCCCD?!
On a dark night Tania stood as Harry Potter with a cape, skirt, tie and Hogwarts logo on her top, at the Eastfield Phi Theta Kappa Halloween Fundraiser. As Tania set up decorations, Franklin walked in dressed in a beige police costume. Franklin’s best friend Esteban tagged along in a Mexican hat and Mexican colorful serape sash. Tania and Franklin locked eyes. Franklin said to his friend, “She’s beautiful.” The night would end, but they did not say one word to each other.
As the semester came to an end, the outgoing officers were beginning to move on and new officers needed to be put in place. Amanda Collins, the former president decided to talk to both Tania and Franklin about the president position. They learned about the organization together and discussed many of the things they currently had going on in their lives.
Tania worked full time, took classes full time, cared for her mother who had medical issues and volunteered in her community.
Franklin worked, took classes full time and helped his family as well. Even though they juggled so much they took on the challenge of being Phi Theta Kappa officers. This was the time to make mistakes, seize challenges and opportunities and learn from all of this… right?
Franklin became president and took his first lead role and Tania became VP of leadership. As time moved on and they worked together, a budding relationship began, but soon they would realize they were building something else. They both did their best to disguise their feelings in order to not impact the organization.
A joke started by Daniel, treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa, spread as a rumor like wildfire, and led them to speak to Jeff Quan, the director of Counseling Services, to discuss their relationship. Although, it may have been one of the most embarrassing experiences, Mr. Quan was able to help them talk through their blooming relationship. From that meeting forward their relationship grew to what it is today.
From their #DCCCDLove came much more. They have similar interests and began their educational careers in the same college as many other students. Since their time at Eastfield College they graduated from Southern Methodist University with their Bachelor of Arts. They are both working, but pursuing law degrees, and will eventually open their own practice within the near future. Looking back, their relationship of 7 years may not have happened without DCCCD, and the love they have for one another is thanks to the many faculty, staff and students at Eastfield College and DCCCD.