A Gateway for Growth

Jen Marquez had always enjoyed photography and, last year, she decided to take the leap and turn what had been her hobby into her new profession. “My husband and family had been encouraging me to pursue this,” she recalls. “Then, when the market went down, I thought it would be a good time for me to go back to school to be prepared for when things turned around.”

And for the busy mother of three, the Digital Photography Certificate, offered entirely online through RDC’s School of Continuing Education, was the ideal solution to combine her passion with her lifestyle. “My boys are both in school, but my two-year-old daughter is at home with me, plus I operate a day home before and after school,” she says. “I definitely need courses that are flexible, and this program has been the perfect fit.”

Her certificate program is made up of five 12-week courses, with three required courses and two electives. Jen describes how the content and assignments, along with the mentorship of her tutor, have been instrumental in helping her develop her skills. “Before I enrolled in this certificate, I had been trying to learn through YouTube and other sources,” she says. “But now, with my assignments and the support of my teacher, I’ve been able to learn so much in such a short time – what I’ve learned so far would’ve taken me years to accomplish on my own.”

As she advances her skills and achieves her educational goals, Jen looks forward to starting her own business, and she anticipates that portrait photography will be a strong area of focus. “It’s about helping people and saving the little moments that make families so special,” she shares. “Capturing those times can mean so much to people, and it really can impact someone’s world, so that’s a very powerful motivator for me.”

Another motivator is her own family, and Jen hopes to show them that there is always an opportunity to grow and learn and try new things. “I want to demonstrate to them that anything is possible. If you look for things you’re passionate about and pursue them, you’ll never regret it. One of my biggest messages for my kids is ‘don’t be afraid to try.’”

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