You can take the Girl out of Colombia, but not Colombia out of the Girl

By Contributing Writer - October 10, 2019

Growing up in Colombia, family values, determination and a strong work ethic were at the core of Maria Eliana Torres’ childhood. She still lives by those morals as she interacts with patients and colleagues as a revenue integrity specialist at Moffitt Cancer Center.    

Torres spent a year in America in 1996 while her mother worked as a diplomat, and she moved to Florida in 2016. She was a registered nurse and was motivated to come to the United States after seeing the opportunity nurses have to grow professionally and advance their careers.

She worked as a registered nurse for an urgent care clinic before joining the Moffitt team in 2017. She says she enjoys the diverse culture at Moffitt. “It definitely helps me to grow as a person and professionally,” Torres explains. “The time that I have spent at Moffitt has helped me to realize that every person, no matter from what country, brings something to the table, and this is the key for the success that this institution has seen.”

Though she speaks Spanish at home, cooks traditional Colombian dishes and wears a Colombian jersey when her home team plays soccer, she misses her family, friends, long walks, Colombian food and drinking a “real” glass of maracuyá (passion fruit) juice.

Torres advises others who come from different countries to, “Fight for your dreams, don’t give up. We all begin from the very bottom. It’s not easy but is not impossible. It is your determination that takes you to the top of your dreams.”

While at Moffitt, Torres pursued a master’s degree in nursing leadership and administration and recently graduated with honors.

Torres poses for a photo during her graduation.

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