First Generation American Uses MOS to Drive Success

Nayeli Ochoa is a personification of the American dream. As a first generation American and basketball aficionado, Nayeli knows the importance of hard work. She, like many students across the country, is utilizing her passion to kick-start her education after high school. Nayeli has also unlocked the power of certification to help her achieve her dreams.

Find out more about Nayeli’s story below.

Certiport: Nayeli, your story is so unique. We are so happy that you agreed to chat with us.

Nayeli: I am so glad that you reached out to me.

Certiport: First things first, tell us a little bit about where you live.

Nayeli: Of course. I’m an Oklahoma resident, but go to school in Kansas. I’m a senior at Rolla High School, so excited to graduate this year. My house is 28 miles away from my school. Monday through Thursday, I wake up at 6 AM and help my siblings get ready for school. In order to make it to school on time, we have to leave the house at seven. We get to school about twenty minutes before classes start, and don’t get out of school until 4 PM.

The driving everyday did bother me at the beginning, but I kept telling myself I chose wisely in schools. My parents wanted me and my siblings to go to school in Guymon, Oklahoma, but we decided against it. Going to school in Rolla, a rather small town, was the best decision I have ever made. The attention that the teachers give each student is unbelievable.

Certiport: Rolla High School has been a great choice for you, especially since you were able to get involved in certification.

Nayeli: For sure! Through the computer class in my high school, I was able to earn my MOS Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, and PowerPoint 2016 certifications. I even went on and became a State Champion in PowerPoint 2013 and qualified to attend the Certiport 2017 MOS U.S. National Championship in Orlando, Florida. Going to the National Championship was an eyeopener for me. It showed me I can succeed at anything I put my mind to, especially with incredible support from all my family, teachers, and friends.

Certiport: That’s an awesome portfolio of certifications! How do you feel like those certifications have helped you in school?

Nayeli: In so many ways! I took fifteen college credit hours my first semester of my senior year and now I am taking twelve college credits and a CNA course this semester. I’m taking all those college credits on top of my normal high school classes. These certifications have helped me with writing for my College Composition, Medical Terminology, and Introduction to Pharmacy Technician classes. From writing papers, doing calculations in Excel, and making presentations for these college classes, these certifications have made the classes I am taking much easier.

Certiport: You’re so busy! Incredible to see how much certification has influenced you in your classes. Do you feel like it’s also influenced you outside the classroom?

Nayeli: This is still something I do in school, but I know that my certification helped me get elected as my class president this year. I know how to organize and plan things well, and my peers know that. Not only that, but I have also been able to make presentations for our superintendent and principal. I credit a lot of that to the skills I learned with my MOS certifications. Ultimately, I owe so much to my teacher, Mrs. Taylor. She is practically like my second mom. She told me that these certifications would do huge things for me. She was right, and I will forever be grateful that I took her class and earned my certifications.

Certiport: We love hearing about how certification has helped you outside the classroom, and seeing you give awesome kudos to the teacher who got you this far. What are your plans for after high school?

Nayeli: I will be attending college, and I am so proud of that! I am a first-generation US citizen, and being here in the US with the chance to go to college means so much to me. I’ve realized that I shouldn’t give up on what I want to achieve in life. My end goal is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I can’t wait to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall.

My family has had some financial challenges. There are times when we live paycheck to paycheck. I’ve worked so hard to keep my grades up and will continue to work hard at school. Ultimately, I know that going to college and using my skills will be such a blessing to my family.

Nayeli Ochoa takes a picture with Mickey Mouse in Disney World

Certiport: Nayeli, you’ve been through so much and we can’t wait to see where life takes you.

Nayeli: Thank you so much! Earning my certification and competing in the MOS US National Championship were such amazing experiences. Being able to visit Disney World with my teacher and sister was a trip I will always remember.

Certiport: One last question for you. What advice would you give to other students looking to earn their certification and potentially compete in the MOS US National Championship?

Nayeli: My piece of advice for everyone is to never give up! I did not get a perfect score until the last day the competition was open. You never know what you can do if you keep pushing yourself.

To learn more about the MOS Championship, visit