Veronica Sanders El Centro College Interior Design graduate

Never Too Late to Pursue a Career Dream

Mother of three finds her passion in Interior Design at El Centro College

For Veronica Sanders, El Centro College provided not just the career skills to follow her passion, but the confidence and leadership skills to pursue it with the encouragement of her husband and three sons.

“It took me almost 10 years after high school to find the courage to go to college and pursue my dreams of becoming an interior designer,” says Veronica. “I was just bouncing around dead-end jobs. When I was working as a bank teller, I passed out one day because I’d gone without a lunch break. I thought, I need to do something I love. After a lot of soul searching, I came across interior design and a light bulb just went on.”

Veronica Sanders El Centro College alumni in interior design studios.

El Centro College Center for Design

Interior Design is part of the El Centro College Center for Design, a state-of-the-art educational center for architecture, continuing education, digital art, engineering, fashion design, interior design and marketing careers.

This spring the program moved to the 10th and 11th floors of One Main in downtown Dallas, adding new energy and a level of professionalism to the coursework.  

Veronica Sanders and DCCCD staff

A Foundation in Design and Leadership

Veronica took two years of Interior Design courses at El Centro, earning a general associate degree before transferring to UT-Arlington, where she’s scheduled to complete a bachelor’s degree in interior design in May 2018.

In the meantime, she’s already working as an interior design assistant with Mikel Welch, who owns a metroplex interior design firm and serves as personal designer for television mega-personality Steve Harvey.

“El Centro gave me a foundation not only in interior design but in leadership,” she says. “I learned what it was to be a part of an organization and see myself as a leader,” says Veronica, who was recently inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society for college students, faculty and administrators.

Veronica Sanders and Rise Interior Design director.

Veronica Sanders and Risë Talbot Interior Design Program Director at El Centro College's Center for Design in downtown Dallas.

Why Community College

“Community college was a great choice for me because I was limited in funds – I was on food stamps when I started the program,” she says. “I also knew that getting good grades would pay off in the long run and it has.”

Her stellar grades have earned her numerous scholarships: from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH), and Executive Women International (EWI), among others. 

“I love meeting people to pick up hints of how to make a space feel like home,” she says. “Some people still think of interior design as hanging curtains; that may be the final touch, but almost everything else is architecture-based. I have to know lighting, plumbing, construction and health safety. Interior design isn’t just décor – it’s building a space from the inside out.”

Veronica Sanders in El Centro College Center for Design

“I tell my sons and anyone who will listen: you can do whatever you want to, as long as you believe in yourself and work hard.”

“I tell my sons and anyone who will listen: you can do whatever you want to, as long as you believe in yourself and work hard,” she says. “People told me I couldn’t go back to school because I had three kids and too much responsibility. But I said, ‘I can deal with my responsibilities and still pursue my dreams’. And I decided, if I can, I will.”

Veronica Sanders Crystal Plaza downtown Dallas

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