Eduardo Padrón never planned to go into education when he graduated from the University of Florida in 1970 with a Ph.D. in economics. He had already accepted a job with DuPont and was coming back to Miami to thank his old junior college teachers for starting him on his road to success as a student.
But Padrón’s professors pushed him to come work at what was then Miami Dade Community College. Out of guilt and obligation, Padrón agreed to take a salary 75 percent lower than the well-known chemical firm had promised and give them a year of his life. After that, he still planned to pursue a corporate career.
That never happened. Halfway through the school year, Padrón discovered a passion for teaching.
“I found my religion,” said Padrón, 66. “I saw the ability to change people’s lives. There is no comparison in terms of the satisfaction you get out of seeing that happen. People come here with little hope and the reward is seeing them become leaders in all areas of this community.”