While still a student at Northampton Community College (NCC), Bianca Santiago, a business management major from Brodsheadville, started her own small business, a year ago.  Knowing that she wanted to build a company around the event planning industry, her endeavor has started her on the first steps.  Her business, Bianca Services, is multifaceted; it includes wedding and party planning and assisting, from décor to Photoshop and much more.  Additionally, she helps other small business owners with creating web pages and logos.  

A full-time employee as a branch specialist at a bank, Santiago appreciates the ability to work while she completed her associate degree online, having access to teachers who made her feel that she wasn’t alone.  “Your teachers are there to help you,” she tells future students.  “Do not be afraid to ask for help or feel that you are an inconvenience.  Faculty and staff are there because they want you to succeed and achieve your goals,’ she says. 

Bianca Santiago/Photo by Randy Monceaux

She also advises students to make themselves aware of all the available services provided by NCC, such as the Learning Center and the Library and says that they played a vital role in her success.  She also recommends that students join a club and be part of the NCC community, as this will enhance their growth. 

Santiago belongs to the National Society of Leadership and Success.  Monthly celebrity speakers inspire her and motivate her when she needs it the most, she says. 

Life has not been without challenges for Santiago.  The recent past has been difficult because she lost her mother.  “Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to remember how much my mother aspired for me to be a strong and independent woman with an education,” she says.  “So, I pushed forward, graduated in May and am looking forward to going on for my bachelor’s degree.”  She is considering transferring to Miami University or Florida State University, in the fall or spring, while continuing her business,   

“NCC has allowed me to discover myself and my passions,” Santiago says.  “Furthermore, it has helped me build self-confidence and made me realize I can do this.”