Senior Spotlights

As we countdown to commencement ceremonies, OLLU shines the spotlight on the accomplishments on some of our May 2017 graduates and give them an opportunity to reflect on their time at OLLU. Commencement ceremonies will take place May 14, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. at Freeman Coliseum.

Twins Michelle and Monique Davis are both graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, and they have both been accepted to medical school and will begin studies in the fall at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Since twins share everything, Michelle and Monique are sharing this Senior Spotlight.

 

 

Michelle Davis

Campus Activities: Academic Peer Tutor at the OLLU Academic Center for Excellence, President of Saints Medical Society, Presenter at McNair Scholars and Student Research Symposium 2016-2017, Presenter at Sigma Zeta Math and Science National Honor Society Convention 2017, Sigma Zeta Math and Science National Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon Honor Society, Chemistry Club, Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence, Providence Leadership Program, Eucharistic Minister, Mass Lector, Ignite Ministry Program, and Entrusted Ministry Program.

Impact of OLLU: Nothing can impact your life more than the power of an education. An education, along with a university that embodies community and faith, has made a profound impact in my life and has helped to mold me into the person I am today. As a Stars Scholar, I was able to embark on an incredible journey at OLLU. This university has allowed me to grow spiritually and intellectually, and I’ll always cherish the memories that were created during my time here.

An important life lesson: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire and don’t be afraid of hard work. If it’s meant to be, God will part the ways and He will guide you in achieving your dreams.

Plans for the future: Following my Bachelor of Science degree, I will be attending the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Being accepted into medical school where I can become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and treat children and young adults—and alongside my twin sister, Monique—is an incredible opportunity for which I am very grateful. My goal is to become a pediatrician. I aim to treat sick children and to do so by serving families of various backgrounds and communicating in multiple languages, such as English, Spanish and American Sign Language.


Monique Davis

Campus Activities: Academic Peer Tutor at Academic Center for Excellence, Vice President of Sigma Zeta Math and Science National Honor Society, Presenter at Sigma Zeta Math and Science National Honor Society Convention 2017, Student Government Association Representative of Saints Medical Society, Presenter at McNair Scholars and Student Research Symposium 2016 and 2017, Gamma Sigma Epsilon Honor Society, Chemistry Club, Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence, Providence Leadership Program, Eucharistic Minister, Mass Lector, Ignite Ministry Program, and Entrusted Ministry Program.

Impact of OLLU: There’s the saying, “We create ourselves as we go,” and I feel that I have found myself here at OLLU. This university has shaped me into the intellectual and spiritual person that I am today. The relationships and experiences that I have made are a significant part of me and I will forever carry these memories with me as I go. As a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, I chose to attend OLLU because it immediately felt like home, and that was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made.

An important life lesson: My three years at OLLU have flown by so quickly, that I have learned to enjoy every second of life. Through every good day and stressful day, with every all-nighter, laugh, and glorious sip of coffee, I have come to understand that every moment is precious and worth-while.

Plans for the future: I have been blessed with an acceptance to the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I will strive to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) in pediatrics. With my knowledge of science in biology and chemistry, as well as the ability to communicate in three languages (English, Spanish, and American Sign Language), I plan to earn my doctor of osteopathic medicine degree and serve the sick and under-served populations within the Southwest.

 
Campus Activities: President and Vice President of the Association of Latino Professional for America (ALPFA), Delta Mu Delta, and Habitat for Humanity Volunteer.

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life tremendously and I am very pleased with my decision to attend this university. Thanks to the immense help of the professors and staff, I have been able to develop in a professional and personal way. Throughout the past four years, the university has provided me with the opportunity to build relationships with staff members and fellow students, which have motivated me to pursue my goals and give back to the community.

An important life lesson: The biggest life lesson I have learned here at OLLU is that planning and preparation are the keys to success. I learned that having a routine and not procrastinating are the first steps in developing a pro-active mentality. Some opportunities only come once, thus, you must be prepared to take advantage of them.

Plans for the future: I was selected to return this summer for a second internship at a major accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers. I also plan to continue with my education and complete my master’s degree. After that, I plan take the CPA Exam and become a CPA. I have learned a great deal throughout the past few years and I plan to take those experiences and apply them to building new relationships in my career.
 
Campus Activities: 2017 Capital One Entrepreneurship Challenge winner; Participant in the Fiesta Flambeau Parade

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life by giving me the opportunity to not only get my degree in Business Management, but also to open my first business. I started the Capital One Entrepreneurship Challenge class in fall 2016 and quickly found out that I had to create a business plan that could win up to $8,000. I was a mother of two and pregnant at the time but I was focused on the prize. I knew that winning this competition could change my life. The class was tough and at some moments I was not sure I could win, it required a lot of time and research. I had two amazing professors who I thought had it out for me, but soon realized they only wanted to help me succeed. Professor Kathryn Winney and Alicia Tafoya have pushed me to limits that I thought I could not overcome because they believed in me and I want to thank them them for that. On May 1, 2017, we had the competition and I ended up winning the entire $15,000 prize. I would have never imagined that when I started here at the Lake I would have the opportunity to leave with prize money to start my own business, and at that amount, but it has now changed my life. OLLU has had an impact on giving back to my community, and I will use my business platform to give back to my community and help other men and women succeed.

An important life lesson: The biggest lesson I have learned on my journey is to never give up. Trying to be the best mother and wife, as well as trying to complete an education at my age was draining at moments and I wanted to give up. But I am glad I had a great support system that would talk me back to my senses. I continued with my education that way I can give my children opportunities that I did not have. I want them to also learn that hard work pays off and their success is not limited.

Plans for the future: I hope to use my BA in Management to manage my business in the best way possible and lead my company and team to success. I also hope that my story can influence children in the community to reach for the stars because with hard work and dedication anything is possible. I grew up down the street in the projects and when we would pass by the university I would always tell my grandmother, "I want to go to that school.” Years later I am a proud OLLU Saint and I am glad to be graduating.

I plan to open my business by October of this year. I am currently working on getting all the proper permits and licenses to get my business started. Toña's Tamales will be open for the 2017 Christmas holiday season and I am so excited for everyone to taste the tamales we have to offer.
 
Campus Activities: Two-Time Student Government Association President, Mr. OLLU, Mr. Sacred Heart, University Program Council - Program Assistant, Orientation Leader, LIFE Program Mentor, Association of Black Students Vice President, Blue Crew Founder, Founding Member of District 26 Student Government Advisory, Sigma Theta Epsilon, ALPFA, and Co-Creator of "Wings Up."

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has taught me to prioritize my purpose. That is, setting time aside to invest into doing what I love! Also the relationships I have built with faculty, staff, students and even the Board of Trustees will always be near and dear to me. Finally, OLLU impacted my life by teaching me through experience that you may not be in charge of your situation, but you are always in charge of your decisions!

An important life lesson: The biggest life lesson I have learned is invest in the people you build relationships with and opportunity will come, rather than investing in relationships for opportunities.

Plans for the future: I will be interning during the summer doing marketing at a mortgage company. I also have been accepted to Texas A&M Commerce University for the Masters of Science in Marketing! I am set to head there in the fall.
 
Campus Activities: Music Ensembles Association Choir Representative, University Choir President, Les Canards – Advanced Choral Ensemble, Lambda Psi Delta Historian and Secretary, Alpha Chi Honor Society Treasurer

Impact of OLLU: I have been able to explore a variety of different skill sets through the Music Department, and see what options I had with my degree. I believe that the Music Department has been quite flexible with what I could do with internships, allowing me to see what I enjoyed the most, and what I might like to do with my future. It was also here, at OLLU, that I met my husband.

An important life lesson: The biggest lesson I've learned is that you can never really plan the future. When I came in as a freshman, my plan was to get in, get an education, and get out. Then I became a member of different clubs/organization, had a variety of leadership positions in those clubs/organizations, changed my major, found a person I loved, got married, and became heavily involved in the Music Department. Planning certainly has its place, but instead of trying to have everything be meticulously scheduled, try to be flexible and just kind of go with it.

Plans for the future: I want to try and make the world just a little bit better, which I am sure is a very cliché sort of dream. I want to pursue a career in the medical field, which actually is not too far-fetched for someone with a music degree. It will just be a little different. Between now and medical school, I want to teach music theory and piano. I hope maybe someone I teach might be able to see how music makes the world just a little more bearable, especially if you are the one making it. I do have a few people that want me to teach their children, and I am currently discussing details with them.
 

Campus Activities: Baseball Team, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Dean’s List

Impact of OLLU: I am very grateful for the opportunity to further my education at OLLU as my time here has allowed me to mature and grow professionally and personally. Going to a school at a challenging university has taught me how to plan ahead and stay organized as well as build relationships with professors and students.

An important life lesson: Aside from preparation and staying organized, I think the biggest life lesson I learned from my time at OLLU is not to let situations or moments get too big or overwhelming. You can only control the things you can control and take things one day at a time.

Plans for the future: I was fortunate enough to land a job with a major management and technology consulting company called Booz Allen Hamilton doing cyber security and will begin working soon after graduation. I also plan on staying in school for a master’s degree and use this time in the summer to travel and make new memories.

 
Campus Activities: Women’s Soccer Team Captain For Three Years and Goalie, Campus Recreation Work Study, and Dean’s List All Eight Semesters at OLLU

Impact of OLLU:
I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to attend a good university while doing what I love – playing soccer. OLLU has impacted my life directly and has left me with unforgettable memories that I will forever cherish. I have met the greatest of people and made life-long friends through the university. I t has helped me reach my potential and to be a great leader and be the best I can be on and off the field.

An important life lesson: Something I've learned and hold to be my motto would be that hard work and dedication are the keys to success. You work hard in everything you do and give 110 percent and it will pay off. Whether it's in the classroom, on the field or at your job, work hard and the rest will fall into place.

Plans for the future: I plan to play for Athenians Soccer Club of the Women’s Premier Soccer League and eventually go to physical therapy school and become a physical therapist. But immediately after graduation, I would like to work at a sports performance facility training athletes.
 
Campus Activities: Men's Soccer Team Captain For Four Years, Campus Recreation Work Study, and Eight Semesters on the Deans' List

Impact of OLLU:
The impact that OLLU brought to me has been tremendous. I really enjoyed my college career as a student and as a soccer player. This university gave me the opportunity to keep educating myself and at the same time practice the sport I love. I was able to succeed these past four years thanks to the unconditional support of my family and all the people that I met at OLLU who never gave up on me.

An important life lesson: For me the biggest lesson learned while being at OLLU will be to never give up on your dreams. I can relate this lesson to either school or soccer because it plays an important role in both of them. If you quit on your dreams, you will be quitting at life, and that's something that I have learned and will take in consideration for the rest of my life.

Plans for the future: My plan is to become a physical therapist. I will be applying to physical therapy school this upcoming December to get started in August 2018. Once I graduate, I would like to create my own outpatient physical therapy clinic to provide treatment and care to those who need it.
 

Campus Activities: President of The Alliance, President of Art Ink, President and Vice President of Alpha Sigma, Vice President of Delta Alpha Pi, Volunteer Coordinator of P.E.A.C.E. Initiative, Stages of the Cross No. 6 Artwork for Contemplative Service at the Bishop Jones Center, 50th Anniversary of Texas Farmworkers Strike Group Exhibition, From Heroes to Homeless Solo Exhibition, The Grind: Labor, Love, Community, Group Exhibition at The Movement Gallery, Art in the Barrio Workshop, Luminaria Installation Assistant, Luminaria Installation Take Two Assistant, Ninth Annual On and Off Fredericksburg Installation Assistant, and Facilitator of César Chávez Poster Workshop.

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life in many ways. Growing up a few blocks away from campus, I never thought that one day I would be graduating from OLLU. Being at OLLU has been a positive experience and I am proud every day I step foot on campus or say I am graduating from OLLU. The relationships and memories I have built with faculty, staff and students alike I will cherish forever.

An important life lesson: The biggest life lesson I have learned is to never give up. I lost my mom a month before coming to OLLU and at times, as anyone can imagine, it was tough, but with the help of others here at OLLU, I can say thanks for believing in me and reminding me that I am not a quitter.

Plans for the future: I have been accepted into the master’s program in New Media Art at Savannah College of Art and Design. After I obtain my master’s, I plan to pursue a doctoral degree in either Egyptian Art or Chicanx Art.

 
Activities: Men’s Tennis Team - Two-Time Red River Athletic Conference Championship Titles and NAIA National Championship Participant, Lake Front newspaper, and Deans’ List.

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has shaped my life in more than one way. I came from Brazil when I was only 17 to a place that was completely unknown to me. But as soon as the first week of classes got to an end, I was feeling at home. All the professors were patient with my poor English and showed me the way to succeed as a writer, speaker and listener. OLLU helped me to develop personally and professionally. But most importantly, OLLU has shown me what I want to do for a career, and I will always be grateful for that.

An important life lesson: OLLU has given me the opportunity to find what I love to do, and, it also has shown me how to be professionally passionate about a career. If you work hard, take criticism, let people help you, and be patient, you will achieve anything. It does not matter what type of dream you have.

Plans for the future: In the near future, I'm in the search of a job in a video production company. In the long term, I plan to go back to school and get a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production, and, hopefully, find my way in the industry where I can write/direct films.
 
Campus Activities: Men's Basketball Team Captain For Three Years, Strength and Conditioning Coach for Men’s Basketball Team, Criminal Justice Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success, and Deans' List All Nine Semesters at OLLU.

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has blessed me with the opportunity to further my education while allowing me to continue pursuing my love of basketball. Throughout my time here I was able to find my true passion for strength and conditioning, and with what I have learned here, I was ready to step into a coaching role immediately and pursue a master’s degree. I appreciate all my coaches and teachers who pushed me every day to better myself as a person, player and student.

An important life lesson: The most important lesson I have learned at OLLU is: “Great teachers (coaches) never stop being great students.” You can never learn too much.

Plans for the future: I will be the Strength and Conditioning Graduate Assistant at UTSA for the football team.
 
Campus Activities: Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Student Government Association and Saints Cheer Team.

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has helped me get out of my comfort zone as far as meeting people and being able to be confident in myself as a person, I also have met others who want to experience growth. I have been able to grow more in my faith as well as discover my love and passion for service for others and social work. I will move forward knowing OLLU gave me that foundation.

An important life lesson: OLLU has taught me that we all come from different backgrounds and have experienced different situations, yet we all have similar goals to succeed in higher education.

Plans for the future: I am currently committed to spending a year of service in New York in the South Bronx to serve in inner city schools and work with at-risk youth and families. I want to encourage children and help them reach their maximum potential to succeed in life and through their education. I hope to take the knowledge, guidance and experiences from the people I have met and truly better the community in a way that is in the best interest of others but also reflects the values of community, service, trust, and integrity.
 

Campus Activities: Saints Men’s Golf Team, Past Vice President Criminal Justice Society, and Sigma Lambda Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life tremendously because it got me to explore new things and meet new people. It also made me choose what I wanted to do with my life after graduation.

An important life lesson: The biggest lesson I learned is that don’t be afraid to ask questions because most of the time students are thinking of the same questions.

Plans for the future: I have a job lined up working as a case worker for a probation office and then after time working there I will pursue a position with federal probation or parole.

 

Campus Activities: President of Association of Information Technology Professionals, CyberSaints, Club Bowling Team

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the opportunity to make many great relationships between the faculty, staff, students and myself. I feel that I have relationships with my professors that my friends at other universities do not have. I have also worked on campus for three years and have made great relationships with the staff here at OLLU. I have had a great opportunity through my activities on campus to meet numerous students and I feel that I have made some great life friends.

An important life lesson learned: I learned that you need to keep your head held high and aimed at the end goal. We all will struggle at some point in life, but we can overcome the issue at hand and prevail.

Plans for the future: I have accepted an offer at United Services Automobile Association as a software developer and integrator after graduation. I plan on working for a while and obtaining my master’s during that time. I do have an interest in teaching, but that won’t be for quite some time.
 

Campus Activities: Women's Soccer Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: In my time at OLLU, the community feel has enabled me to form relationships with friends, teammates, and professors which I will forever cherish. Being able to come to school and see the same faces on a day-to-day basis has meant that we, as classmates, have grown and changed together and I feel like those people with whom I have spent so much time at OLLU know me better than anyone. I am blessed to have built so many meaningful relationships that I hope will only continue to grow in the future.

An important life lesson learned: I'd have to say that something I am reminded of every day is the importance of taking things one day at a time and not worrying too much about what is (or may not be) coming. In class, assignments pile up and get to be extremely overwhelming. I've taught myself to just focus on getting one thing done before looking at what's next. The same principle applies to my life as a whole even outside my undergraduate experience. I've always been a huge planner. However, things come up, and a lot doesn't go as planned. This is something that I have experienced many times at OLLU, but it is also something that I can carry with me in the future.

Plans for the future: With my biology and kinesiology background, I plan to continue my education in the health care field either in medical, physician assistant, or physical therapy school. I have applied to medical schools and am entertaining the thought of applying to PA/PT schools as well. In the meantime, while I wait for acceptance, I do have a job lined up with Airrosti Rehab Centers which will hopefully help to supplement my education as I put what I have learned in the classroom into practice in a clinical recovery setting.
 

Campus Activities: Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Inc., University Programming Council, Association of Black Students, HALO, OLLU Choir, Lake Front Live, First Year Connection, Applications of Learning Mentor, Leadership for Freshmen Excellence Program, Student Government Association, Blue Crew, Drama Club, Co-Founder of Blue Nation, Founder of Saints Greek Council, Founder of Mr. and Ms. OLLU Showcase, Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Society, OLLU Lions Club, Awakening Staff, Student Leadership and Development Student Supervisor, National Association of Campus Activities

Impact of OLLU: I found my passion here at Our Lady of the Lake University. Through my experience here I have grown to know that developing other leaders is what I truly love to do. OLLU has helped me define and maximize who I am and prepared me to go anywhere I would like to.

An important life lesson learned: Through being here at the Lake, I have learned that this world is filled with so many different people with different backgrounds. I have learned that everyone is a leader in their own way and that the best thing I can do to truly help a person is listen.

Plans for the future: I currently have a job at Enterprise as an MT in training to become an assistant manager. I also have been accepted to continue my OLLU career here in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program. With my degree, I also would love to grow my business as a DJ.

 

Campus Activities: Track and Field Team, Cross-Country Team, OLLU Rock and Roll Half-Marathon Representative (Taking Second in Her Age Group) Qualifier for NAIA National Marathon, Bexar County Health Collaborative Intern

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life academically as well as helped me to enhance my athletic performance. Through academics, both the psychology department and sociology department have inspired me to reach a new level of confidence to pursue my career dreams. The professors in these departments have invested in my future and I am forever grateful to them. My athletic performance has improved both through new record times and mental toughness. The coaches I have worked with have encouraged me to stick to a strict regimen. I recognize I am unique in my coaching ability and the coaches at OLLU have gained my respect and trust by allowing my abilities to come together physically, mentally, and emotionally. They know what it takes to push a runner to reach her potential. It took many tries to find the perfect match with a coaching staff and I found it here at OLLU. Thank you, Coach Sherman and Coach Smith for your time and patience and for enduring my occasional moodiness. I am looking forward to another successful season with you both.

An important life lesson learned: I have learned to stay committed and never accept the limitations anyone else tries to put on me.

Plans for the future: I have been accepted for graduate school at Our Lady of the Lake University. In addition to attending classes at OLLU, I also will be running track and field. I hope to use my degrees from OLLU to usher me into Boston University’s Interdisciplinary PhD in Sociology and Social Work.

 

Campus Activities: Men's Club Basketball Team Founder, Youth Basketball Summer Camp, Math Society, Earth Club, Elementary School Volunteer Mentor

Impact of OLLU: Since attending OLLU, I have met some pretty amazing people. All of whom have wanted the best for me. I am grateful for that. The people I met here I will never forget and will always have a bond with them from friends to faculty and staff.

An important life lesson learned: You can always bounce back. There should be no limit to how high you can go as long as in your mind you accept that challenge and put in the hard work to overcome failure.

Plans for the future: I am currently in the application process for graduate school. I want to pursue a master’s degree in aquatic biology. Also, I have always wanted to be a high school teacher and basketball coach. I will be working at New Frontiers Charter School in the spring. I want to use athletics to help young people learn and improve their lives.

 
Campus Activities: National Society of Leadership and Success, Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life significantly. The small class sizes, and professors who go out of their way to help their students, and the academic resources provided to help students succeed (the writing and peer tutoring centers) are amazing. OLLU has helped me to grow as a person. I cannot imagine myself having gone to a different university. I am glad I chose OLLU. OLLU has blessed me with a great learning experience and life-long friends.

An important life lesson learned: I have learned many important life lessons, but the one that is most important to me is that no goal is unattainable; if you apply yourself, work hard, and stay focused, you can do anything.

Plans for the future: I was recently accepted to the graduate program here at OLLU. So, for now I plan to further my education in business, while working as a student employee, and also volunteering at organizations in the marketing department to receive hands-on experience. In the future, once I have finished school completely, I hope to get into marketing management and I believe that everything I have learned at OLLU will help me succeed not only in my career, but in my personal life as well.
 
Campus Activities: University Programming Council, First Year Connection Mentor, HALO Coordinator, Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Pi National Society For Leadership and Success, Student Teams Actively Recruiting Students (S.T.A.R.S), Lake Greek Council, Order of Omega National Leadership Honor Society, OLLU Lions Club

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life immensely. OLLU has provided one of the most important contributions to my life and family. Throughout my time at OLLU, I have met numerous people who have, in their own ways, positively impacted my life. These people have pushed me to do what I never thought was meant for me. Because of these individuals I was able to become a representative of the students on this campus, to become an executive member within honor societies and other organizations, to put on campus programs for the students and for the community to enjoy, to work alongside faculty to help shape the dynamics of the campus, and provide more for the students here at OLLU. These people I have met have done so much for me and because of their efforts I have done everything I came here to accomplish and so much more. I can proudly say that because of OLLU, I have gained many new brothers and sisters.

An important life lesson learned: Not to sound cliché, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that nothing is impossible. College in and of itself is no easy task. It isn’t any easier while working, maintaining a social life, keeping up with assignments, taking responsibilities in organizations, joining new organizations, networking everywhere you go (because it never hurts to plan very far ahead into your future), and so much more. I know my experience is not comparable to others, some have it easier and some have much harder, but that does not mean our goals and dreams are not achievable. We will never accomplish our goals or dreams at the same time or at the same rate, but we can all say that we have accomplished something we were told was impossible, or something that was beyond our abilities.

Plans for the future: I intend to do many things with my degrees because there is so much for me to do with them. I would like to teach secondary school English and become a motivating factor just as my senior English teacher was for me. With all I’ve gained from what I have done during my time at OLLU, my hope is to teach and guide future generations.

 

Campus Activities: Student Mentor at Harlandale High School, Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: Truthfully, the professors at OLLU have made the most impact on my life. Their knowledge, skill, and passion for social work has helped shape my educational journey.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I’ve learned is that it’s less important to be perfect in this world, but vital to our soul to be authentic. Our common humanity unites us in our struggles, growth, achievements and possibilities. I live my life by this quote from Inspirational leader and activist Lilia Watson, “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.”

Plans for the future: I’ve been a dedicated staff member at the Rape Crisis Center for children and adults since 2004, so naturally I will continue to work with this great organization as I attend graduate school in the spring at OLLU. My aspirations are limitless at this point. I will be continuing my education and work with the Rape Crisis Center but hope to one day be able to teach other social work students.

 
Campus Activities: Men’s Baseball Team, Assistant Pitching Coach, A/V Tech

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has given me the opportunity to realize I can really accomplish anything in life if I put hard work into it.

An important life lesson learned: God called me to be here at OLLU for many different reasons. OLLU gave me the opportunity to play for the Men’s Baseball team. I learned the value and importance of an education which led to a successful academic career here at OLLU. The biggest life lesson I learned is never give up because God has much bigger plans for everyone. The opportunities that God opened during my time at the Lake were opportunities in which I could gain more confidence in myself.

Plans for the future: I plan to pursue my MBA at OLLU beginning in the spring semester, and I will be working at the university. I want to work for a financial firm in the near future, but my ultimate goal is to have my own company.

 
Campus Activities: Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority, Inc. Executive Board; Student Government Association Director of Records and Finances; Saints Greek Council Vice President of Administration; Law and Politics Society President; Criminal Justice Society Treasurer; Blue Nation Orientation Senior Leader; First Year Connection Applications of Learning Mentor; Leadership Institute for Freshman Excellence Mentor; Lion’s Club International; Blue Stars Dance Team; vOLLUnteer Unity Council Site Leader; President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipient; Ms. Providence 2016; Alpha Chi National College Honor Society; Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society; Sigma Lambda Criminal Justice Honor Society; Order of Omega National Leadership Honor Society; and Admissions Student Employee.

Impact of OLLU:
Throughout my undergraduate years at the Lake, I’ve learned to apply OLLU’s core values into my own life. I was blessed to study at a university that embraces Community, Integrity, Service and Trust. The OLLU community has definitely had a positive impact on my life from the amazing staff and faculty to the students in my classes. I have truly grown professionally and I’m forever thankful for their unconditional support.

An important life lesson learned: I’ve learned that in order to be successful, you need to step out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself.

Plans for the future: I aspire to earn my Juris Doctorate in the future. I am in the application process for law school. I’ve always been passionate about helping those who are marginalized. I want to practice immigration, criminal, and/or civil rights law, specifically for a nonprofit organization. I also plan to run for office someday.
 
Campus Activities: Bilingual Education Student Organization, Kappa Delta Epsilon Gamma Psi

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life by emphasizing the “big picture” and by reinforcing the importance of service. The faculty at OLLU always challenged me with the question of “how are you going to use what you are learning here to make your community and your world a better place?” The pursuit of finding the answer to this question has pushed me to become a person that lives everyday making the conscious effort to make his community a little bit better through service, hard work, and hope for a brighter future. I do not believe that any other university could have given me the same service-driven education.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I have ever learned is that you have not truly failed until you quit. Sometimes, it is easier to just give up than to keep trying to achieve whatever it is you are trying to achieve. However, so long as you do not quit, eventually you will find your way to the finish line. People who are successful usually are not where they are because they are smarter or because they are made of something different than those who are not. They are successful because they had the tenacity and perseverance to keep going even when life gave them every reason not to. As someone who is about to graduate, I can see my finish line approaching and I think back to all the times I wanted to give up and how grateful I am that I did not.

Plans for the future: I aspire to become a mathematics teacher at my old high school. OLLU has taught me to give back to my community and I plan to make a fulfilling career out of it. I have been offered a long-term substitute teacher position at my old high school. If all goes well, this will turn into a permanent position starting next school year.
 
Campus Activities: Phi Alpha Honor Society

Impact of OLLU:
I would like to share a story that actually inspired me to attend OLLU and how it impacted me. When I first went to talk to someone about enrolling and attending OLLU, I noticed a professor take her time and sit down with a student who was on the verge of having to drop classes due to a personal issue. The professor tried talking to the student about not dropping her classes, but the student had already made her decision. The professor then wished the student well and told her to return anytime. I sat there and thought....This is where I want to be. I want to attend a college where I will be valued. It may have only been one professor, but that's all it took. I knew then that I was making the right decision. OLLU has caring and supportive staff. Not only are the staff great, but so are the people who attend. I gained new friends. The combination of great staff and students is what impacted me to complete my degree.

An important life lesson learned: I learned that anyone can do it. Anyone can attend college if they put their mind to it. As a mother of three, a wife, and a full-time employee, I had doubts about my educational success, but as I attended OLLU, I gained the confidence and determination to complete and succeed.

Plans for the future: I am employed full time as a Case Manager for a nonprofit agency, but completing my degree has helped me to become better at my job and view things through a whole new lens.
 
Campus Activities: McNair Scholars Program, Honors Program, President of Psi-Chi Psychology Honor Society, Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Health Services Office Assistant, and Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office Intern

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has made me a more well-rounded individual due to the vast amount of experiences that were presented to me during my undergraduate education. Thanks to these experiences, I am now more aware of a greater reality and the importance of being active in the community.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest lesson that I have learned at OLLU has been to get out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the numerous opportunities and experiences that are provided by the community to enrich my development as a scholar and as an individual.

Plans for the future: I hope to be able to implement the degree and experiences achieved at OLLU in order to help marginalized individuals in the community by providing them with adequate resources and professional help.


 
Campus Activities: HALO Apprentice, University Programing Council, First Year Connection Mentor, University Ministry, Student Government Association, Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Honor Society, Alpha Sigma National Art Honor Society and Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU gave me the opportunity to further my education even though I am a nontraditional student. Everyone at OLLU has been very accepting and they have helped me develop essential skills that have been extremely useful out in the real world.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson that I have learned is to thank God for the time he gives us because it goes by so fast.

Plans for the future: I hope to accomplish a lot of things with my degree and the experience I gained at OLLU. I want to help mold young minds in my community back home in Los Angeles, California. I want to help them be more open to their culture through the arts. I also hope to open my own print shop where I could have affordable prints for the community and create my own clothing designs. I also want to open a Latinx-themed bar/restaurant.


 
Campus Activities: Men’s Tennis Team, Community Volunteer

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life tremendously. I have met so many people who have become good friends of mine. I have gained numerous things by attending Our Lady of the Lake University such as my work ethic. Every year since freshman year, I have improved my work ethic and I give a lot of credit to tennis as Coach Castillo pushed us hard every year and the outcome of that was our first championship.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I have learned while attending OLLU is, if you want something then don't stop until you get it. Whether it was from a professor or my coach, they always motivated me to strive for the best and if that was not enough they showed me the work ethic to finally achieve what I wanted.

Plans for the future: I am currently a Farmers Insurance agent and was blessed with this opportunity in the spring of 2016. Being only 22 years old and already a business owner, I feel very blessed and thankful. The business department at Our Lady of the Lake University prepared me for this opportunity. In the future, I hope to continue my education and earn a master’s degree in business. I would also love to use my experience as a college tennis player and teach private tennis lessons to those who are less fortunate. By giving back, I would feel a sense of happiness knowing that I am helping others.