Vitória Nogueira, a second-year student at Housatonic Community College (HCC), has been named a 2023 DREAM Scholar by Achieving the Dream (ATD). As one of eight students chosen from participating community colleges across the country, Nogueira will partake in a year-long experiential learning opportunity for students to grow as leaders.
2nd-year student at Bridgeport's Housatonic Community College, has been named a 2023 DREAM Scholar by Achieving the Dream. She's Houastonic's first DREAM Scholar and one of only eight scholars nationwide.
According to the Achieving the Dream website, "DREAM Scholars are resilient community college students, determined to reach their goals and lift up their communities. Each year we honor eight of these leaders with a scholarship that is awarded at our annual convening, DREAM."
Nogueira will partake in a year-long experiential learning opportunity for students to grow as leaders.
“Vitória is an impressive, engaged member of the Housatonic community, and we are so proud that she was selected to be a DREAM Scholar,” Dwayne Smith, HCC chief executive officer, said in a news release. “As the first DREAM Scholar from Housatonic, she is inspiring our students to be resilient and reach for their dreams.”
At 17, Nogueria, then a high school senior in Brazil, immigrated to the United States with her family. Nogueria said, though she's always been passionate about learning and was a top student in her home country, she faced prejudice and discrimination as she acclimated to a new culture, learned English, and attended school.
Despite the challenges, Nogueira earned good grades. However, the stress triggered anxiety and eventually, a panic attack. A psychology teacher taught Nogueria techniques for managing pressure and her eyes were opened to warning signs in other students and community members.
“My dream is to become a psychiatrist and serve the immigrant and underserved population of Connecticut,” said Nogueira in the release. “I want to fight the mental health stigma and devote all my efforts to bringing awareness to give people the tools they need.”
Nogueira attends HCC with the help of scholarship from the Housatonic Community College Foundation. She will graduate this spring with a degree in psychology.
In addition to attaining her education at HCC, Nogueira volunteers on and off campus, works in her family’s business, and interns at the Yale School of Medicine’s neuroscience research lab, focusing on the impact of prenatal brain development on autism and schizophrenia.