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Titikaka Lake, BoliviaMariana Cueto, Black Hawk College student

Growing up in La Paz, Bolivia, was not easy for Mariana Cueto. High inflation ravaged the country while she was a child, making it difficult to obtain the essentials of life, such as bread and eggs. Rather than be victimized by her circumstances, Mariana grew to understand that opportunity was often hidden in despair. She remembers her mother’s words — “You will get the best from a bad situation if you never stop thinking about the future.”

Valley of the MoonMariana took advantage of the few opportunities she had and focused on her interest in science and desire to help others. Her hard work took her to Mexico where she earned a degree in food science from the University of Monterrey. Her fascination with how the body works led her to Black Hawk College and the Physical Therapy Assistant Program. Mariana eventually hopes to return to her home in Bolivia and use her degree to help her fellow citizens.

At Black Hawk College, Mariana is involved in the International Student Association, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and is a student volunteer. She  is the recipient of the Cummings Family Memorial Scholarship and the Ontiveros Family Scholarship from the Black Hawk College Foundation.

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Mariana’s contribution to BHC goes well beyond her role as a student. She’s an inspiration to those who have the pleasure to know her.

When Mariana feels the pressures of life, she thinks back to her mother’s words and turns her eyes to the future. The Quad-Cities and Black Hawk College are fortunate to have Mariana as part of the community. Mariana Cueto is Black Hawk College!