View Content << BackSenior Spotlights: May 2014 graduates As we countdown to commencement ceremonies, OLLU shines the spotlight on some of our May 2014 graduates. Commencement ceremonies will take place May 3 at 11 a.m. at Freeman Coliseum. Brianna Otis Major: Kinesiology Campus Activities: Soccer Team for Four Years Impact of OLLU: The greatest impact for me has come from the people who I’ve met during my time here. Whether it was a professor, teammate or classmate, everyone here has made invaluable contributions to my life and have made my experience here unforgettable. An important life lesson learned: Attending OLLU has taught me that working hard truly does pay off. I learned this lesson on the soccer field as well as in the classroom and will keep it with me for the rest of my life. Plans for the Future: I plan on starting my coaching career and later continuing my education. Alyssa Mora Major: Kinesiology Campus Activities: Soccer, Work Study in Athletic Training Office Impact of OLLU: OLLU has really helped me establish myself in a professional manner. The school has taught me important skills that can help me later on in my professional career. It has allowed me to get my foot in the door for my future career. An important life lesson learned: I’ve learned to make the most of every moment. Sometimes you don’t realize how special a moment really is until it passes, and I’ve really learned to enjoy being in that moment. Plans for the Future: I plan to take my GRE and apply for graduate school. I’d like to go to Texas A&M University for athletic training and eventually be an athletic trainer for a professional sports team or a big university. Joshua Sage De Leon Major: Communication Disorders Campus Activities: National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association, Community Volunteer and Student Employee Impact of OLLU: Small and deeply rooted within the community, OLLU has continued to provide its students with extraordinary examples of character, poise, humbleness, and diversity. Personally, this institution is not just a university to gain a degree from, but also a university to call my academic home and alma mater. The professors, advisers, and students will forever hold a place dear to me and have helped me pave the way for a successful future career. An important life lesson learned: Communication is a two-way street. We speak to be heard and listen to understand. Plans for the Future: I’ve been fortunate to be offered a position as a Speech Language Pathologist-Assistant working with children and adolescents with communication and learning disorders in a school setting. My plans for the future include my return to the Lake to pursue my master’s in Communication and Learning Disorders, then move on to obtain my doctorate in Audiology , and finally work towards a medical degree in Otolaryngology. Amanda Valdez Major: Music Campus Activities: Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority, Mu Phi Epsilon Music Honor Society, Music Ensemble Association, University Choir, Community Volunteer Impact of OLLU: I know that it was Providence that led me to this University. I have been fortunate to have met many amazing people throughout my time at the Lake. I will be the first person in my immediate family to receive a college degree. An important life lesson learned: Over the years I have come to learn that anything worth having is achieved with hard work and determination. Plans for the Future: I'm going to take some time off, do some volunteer work and save some money. Then I will ultimately apply to graduate school. Aaron Flores Major: Public Relations Campus Activities: Golf Team for Four Years, Four-time PING All-American and Four-time NAIA All-American, 2009-2010 RRAC Conference Champion, 2013 NAIA National Runner-Up, Two-time NAIA National Championship All-Tournament Team Member, Champions of Character Award recipient, All-Nicklaus Team Member, Two-time Dean’s List recipient, 2013 Big Blue Top Saint Award winner Impact of OLLU: OLLU holds a near and dear place in my heart. From the staff to the professors, each position has been helpful in getting me to where I want to go in life. The small environment that is exhibited every day in and day out makes my days even better. It’s always great to run into people you see every day versus being just another person at school. An important life lesson learned: The one life lesson I learned while at OLLU is to try and stay humble. Everyone who you see either says hello or waves at you. If I can maintain that positive attitude toward my life and career, I will never fail. Plans for the Future: My plans after graduation are to turn professional and become a touring golfer. It is a dream that I have had since I was five years old. Now that it is here, I know that OLLU has shaped me into a man who can tackle anything that is headed my direction. Nashae Owens Major: Psychology Campus Activities: Basketball and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Impact of OLLU: OLLU of course involves the college campus and experience, and the school gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about community and supporting one another. From the teachers to the students here, you don’t meet too many unfriendly people. That helped me on this journey to getting my education and growing into a mature adult. An important life lesson learned: OLLU helped me prepare for the real world by learning how to be responsible, balance my life, set priorities, be self-motivated and find myself in Christ. Being a college student has given me opportunities to explore and learn new things, and OLLU is full of wonderful memories of three years of my life spent here. Plans for the Future: GET MARRIED! And just focus on being the wife the Lord has called me to be and being a mother to a daughter he has entrusted to me. And from there, who knows. I don't necessarily have plans. I am just letting the Lord lead me, because the one thing I don't want to do is follow my plans and not being focused on Christ and His will for my life. Leslie Cooper Major: Early Childhood Education Campus Activities: Women’s Tennis Team, Alpha Chi National Honor Society Impact of OLLU: OLLU gave me the opportunity to get my education and play the sport I love. OLLU has been essential in my growth as a student and athlete. My professors have given me the knowledge and resources to be an effective teacher. OLLU also taught me the importance of service learning and helping the community. By being in the education field, it has motivated me to continue providing service to my future students and the community. An important life lesson learned: An important life lesson I learned was to never give up, and to always have confidence in myself. With hard-work and dedication, anything is possible. Plans for the Future: I hope to use all the skills and resources I have acquired here at OLLU and apply them to being the best educator I can be. I plan to teach at an elementary school here in San Antonio where I can give back to my community. I also plan to continue my education by pursuing a Master in Education or School Counseling. I overall want to be a model citizen and represent OLLU in the community. Alexander Barraza Major: English Campus Activities: ROTC Staff Officer Impact of OLLU: I have learned life skills from OLLU faculty because they took the time to teach me and when I felt like a degree was out of reach they pushed me to finish school. An important life lesson learned: Anything worth getting is not easy to get. I had to work hard to receive my degree but all the long nights were worth it. Plans for the Future: I devoted three years of my mornings and weekends to ROTC class and field training and I will soon receive my Second Lieutenant rank. I am also planning to attend graduate school. Erika N. Gonzales Major: Biology and English with a Psychology Minor Campus Activities: Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Sorority, Board of Editors for The Thing Itself Literary Journal, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, Mentor with Communities in Schools, Intern with SanAnto Cultural Arts, Mariachi OLLUtlan and Lake Ambassadors Impact of OLLU: I never thought a university could impact my life as much as OLLU did. I learned so much about myself, but more importantly I learned about others. The faculty and staff have provided the best possible community in which to learn and that has made all the difference. An important life lesson learned: There are going to be plenty of difficult times in your life. How you handle those situations defines who you are. Plans for the Future: I hope to attend University of North Texas for graduate school. I want to complete a master’s In Professional and Technical Communication and then pursue a doctoral degree in Public Health. Jordan Gillhespy-Edison Major: Management Campus Activities: Men’s Basketball Team, Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society, and State Farm Sales and Marketing Internship Impact of OLLU: OLLU enabled me to move 5,000 miles away from home to pursue athletics and education at the highest level. OLLU has given me the opportunity to be a first-generation college graduate. I have learned things and met people that will be extremely important to me for the rest of my life. An important life lesson learned: Networking is one of the most important factors to a fulfilling and successful life. If you are genuine and motivated there are so many people in the world that want to help you achieve your goals. The more you give, the more you receive. Welcoming and sociable qualities start a relationship, but honesty and integrity keep that relationship long lasting. A strong network combined with hard work and focus has put me in the best possible position to succeed. Plans for the Future: I have a job offer with Spurs Sports and Entertainment to promote their AT&T Center sports – San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio Rampage and San Antonio Silver Stars. Emily Backus Major: Accounting Campus Activities: Soccer, Business Honors, Spanish Tutoring Impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake University is truly and holistically people-focused, from embracing other languages, cultures and identities to making a difference in our community. OLLU creates connections with people. The service-learning classes and community service I did with my soccer team inspired me to carry these values with me in finding business solutions with the gifts I have to share. An important life lesson learned: I’ve learned to look for opportunities in all things, especially when life knocks you down. In that, you will find an appreciation for your experiences and the motivation, strength of spirit and perseverance to succeed. Plans for the Future: I will be participating in a tax internship program with Price Waterhouse Cooper this summer before I begin my Master of Professional Accounting at the University of Texas at Austin. My professors have inspired me to become a CPA. With my license and passion for financial planning, my goal is to help others succeed. Marcus D. Thompson Major: Accounting Campus Activities: Basketball Impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the chance to get my education and to play the sport I love. OLLU has also taught me the values of service learning and serving others. Life is not about me or my personal achievements. It is about what you do for others, and how you can make someone else smile. An important life lesson learned: I’ve learned to be grateful and thankful for everything I have. I’ve been blessed with a lot of things that others may not have. There are so many unfortunate people who are sick or physically unable to do things, so I try not to take my blessings for granted but be thankful and use them to make others smile. Plans for the Future: My short term plan is accounting work, but ultimately I want to coach basketball, sooner rather than later. Brittany Garcia Major: Psychology Campus Activities: First Year Connection Executive Leader, Higher Achievement Through Leadership Opportunities (HALO) Coordinator, Awakening Retreat, Leadership Institute for Freshmen Excellence (LIFE), Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, and Providence Leadership Program Impact of OLLU: OLLU has allowed me to grow as a servant leader in more ways than I ever expected. The community at OLLU has been the biggest blessing in my life and has been a huge part of my growth and acceptance of Providence. Life has brought many struggles and our community allowed me to remember that no matter where I am or what life may bring, I will always have people standing behind me cheering me on to continue doing great things. An important life lesson learned: Be positive. Everyone goes through struggles and hard times, but without looking at what good may come from your particular situation, you may never grow as an individual. Love. Love what you do, love who you are, and love the company you keep. The organizations I have worked with and people I have surrounded myself with have helped me understand the importance of loving me, as God truly wishes for all of us. Plans for the Future: I hope is that I will be able to go back home to Houston and work with high school students encouraging them to further their education. Martin Hansson Major: Mass Communication Campus Activities: Men’s Soccer Team, Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Sports Anchor on Lake Front TV, Intern OLLU Marketing and Communications Office Impact of OLLU: OLLU has helped me to transition from a student to an employee and prepared me for a life outside the University. The University will always be a big part of my life and I couldn't have done it without the support of the OLLU faculty and staff. An important life lesson learned: With hard work you can go places you never thought you would go. Plans for the Future: I will join Düable Brand Trust as a project manager right after graduation, but eventually I want to go back to graduate school for a master’s degree in communication. Courtney Purl Major: Mathematics Campus Activities: LIFE Mentor, Resident Assistant, Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Sorority, Math Society and Anime Club Impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the chance to meet so many great people and gave me the chance to learn about different aspects of faith and religion. An important life lesson learned: The fishbowl effect applies to everyone. Plans for the Future: I have been accepted into the dual MBA-Master of Science in Organizational Leadership graduate program at OLLU. December 2013 Graduates Jesus Cortez Major: Communication Arts Campus Activities: Lake Front Live, Sigma Theta Epsilon Impact of OLLU: Through the Communication program and working at the TV Studio here at OLLU, I was able to gain the leadership and skills that I can now use in my career. An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson that I have learned here at OLLU is to always persevere. Plans for the Future: I am working for WOAI-TV News 4 San Antonio as a Weekend news editor and I hope to become a news director. Helene Kinville Major: Social Work Campus Activities: Awakening Retreat, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. Beta Gamma chapter, Phi Alpha Honor Society, First Year Connection Mentor, Honors Program Impact of OLLU: OLLU has been essential in my growth as a student and a professional. I have been blessed with many opportunities that have allowed me to develop throughout my journey as an individual and confirm my beliefs. I will always cherish my time at OLLU. An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I have learned is that of providence and following God's will for my life. OLLU has given me the opportunity to learn from my peers and faculty about God's providence and the importance of it in my life. Whatever my next steps may be, I will always hold on to this beautiful lesson. Plans for the Future: I hope to continue to work in the Social Work field and I plan to pursue graduate school in the field of Social Work. Collin Beckendorf Major: Computer Information Systems and Security Campus Activities: Awakening Retreat Staff, Tennis Team, Founding Member of the CyberSaints –OLLU IT Security Group Impact of OLLU: Since I've been to OLLU, I've really grown in my faith life. I have also made many, many lasting friendships here at the Lake that have not only impacted me greatly in the time that I have been here, but I know will continue to impact me throughout the rest of my life. An important life lesson learned: We aren't defined by our successes or failures, so we shouldn't be afraid of failure. It can actually bring us closer to success. Plans for the Future: I will be returning home to San Angelo were I have a job at a computer contracting company called Caltech. It has always been my dream to start working in a company that I can really help many people through, and OLLU definitely played a major part in making me qualified for such a position. Kudakwashe “Kuda” Sengai Major: Psychology Campus Activities: Tennis Team, Providence Retreat Outreach Program Impact of OLLU: Through OLLU University Ministry, I have grown spiritually as an adult. Through several programs, I have learned social and leadership skills that will help my success in the working field. Being an international student athlete, I have realized I can handle multiple tasks. I have met great people who have motivated me to become successful. It is through OLLU that I have come to understand my identity. An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson that I have learned was from my tennis coach Sal Castillo. He always says, "Do what you say you are going to do." This taught me to be a man of my word. Plans for the Future: I am looking forward to furthering my education. I have been offered the opportunity to attend graduate school at OLLU and also assist in coaching the tennis team. I would like to give back all I have learned to the new players. Ivana Montenegro Major: Music Campus Activities: Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Sorority, Mu Phi Epsilon Music Honor Society, First Year Connection Mentor and Executive Leader, University Programming Council, Mariachi OLLUtan, University Choir, SACOLLUSA Orchestra, OLLU/UIW Symphony Impact of OLLU: My undergrad career here has presented me with so many opportunities that I know I will be able to use after I graduate. I have also met some of the most amazing people here. My years here at OLLU will never be forgotten. An important life lesson learned: If life gave us everything we ever wanted, we would never know our true potential. I believe this has been the biggest life lesson I have learned because I know what my true potential is and I know that if I set my mind to it I will be able to accomplish it. Plans for the Future: I have a job offer already back home in El Paso to do music therapy with children. Elizabeth Lopez Major: Early Childhood Education Campus Activities: Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Sorority, Education Club, Music Ensembles Association, Campus Ministry, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: My professors have molded me into a more aware and effective teacher. I have more resources to draw on and a better understanding of how a child learns.Their passion has inspired me and moved me to become not just a teacher, but an advocate for children and their right to learn and grow. The overall community, from the custodians to the cafeteria staff and the CDP’s to the faculty, has influenced me to become a person I am proud of. I feel that OLLU will always be home to me. An important life lesson learned: Not to stress over things I have no control over and to let God’s providence take care of me. Plans after graduation: I will be teaching fulltime at First Presbyterian Children’s Center as soon as my student teaching is completed. I also plan to earn my master’s degree in the future and write a children’s book based on the story I wrote for my children’s literature courses. Victoria Wixon Major: Computer Information Systems and Security Campus Activities: Lambda Psi Delta Sorority, Leadership Institute for Freshman Excellence, First Year Connection, Student Government Association, Mizuumi Anime Club, Alpha Chi Honor Society The impact of OLLU: Through the Honors Program I have experienced a variety of situations and learned much from courses that were not in the curriculum of my major and that I may have never encountered on my own. I've gained leadership skills from many organizations unique to OLLU and I am excited to use these skills to help further my own career in the IT field. OLLU has been a home for me and I hope to cherish and maintain the friendships and networks I've created here. An important life lesson learned: Keep going, push forward and attempt to achieve your goals. A quote from Lewis Carroll comes to mind, "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that." One cannot be stationary in life and expect change and progress, they must keep going and with more effort. Plans after graduation: I hope to use all the skills and knowledge I've gained and put them to use in an IT company, preferably a Fortune 500 company. I am currently in the process of applying for positions and waiting for call backs. I may go to graduate school for a MBA next fall but it will depend on my career. Jamie Lee Major: Political Science and History Campus Activities: OLLU Danza Azteca, Resident Assistant, Alternative Spring Break Participant, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: OLLU provided me with the resources to accomplish my goals. I have traveled the world, studied foreign language such as Spanish, Afrikaans, and Korean, and will be the first in my family to graduate from a university. An important life lesson learned: If you don’t challenge yourself by trying to do the unimaginable then you’re just sabotaging yourself. Plans after graduation: I plan to work for a non-profit organization while attending law school. My future career goal is to become a senator. Jeffrey M. Martinez Major: Math Campus Activities: Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Founder and President, First Year Connection Executive Leader, Student Government Association, Awakening Retreat, McNair Scholars Program, Honors Program The impact of OLLU: Attending OLLU has changed my life. It was obviously Providence that brought me to where I am today, and this university really opened my eyes to who I am as an individual, student, leader, volunteer, and child of God. The people that I surrounded myself with really helped me understand the true meaning of Providence. I have been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities that I owe all to simply being at this institution. An important life lesson learned: Instead of dwelling on things that we cannot change or on mistakes that we have made, let's be proactive and adaptable. Teaching is the epitome of adaptability. I quickly learned, through my experiences in teaching and student leadership, that everything is not going to go as we anticipate. When a lesson in my classroom doesn't go as smoothly as anticipated, I am prepared with another plan to convey the same message. I came to realize that I ultimately do not always have control over everything around me, but God does. I began connecting the pieces and realized that Providence is always active in my life and always will be. Plans after graduation: I hope to use all the skills that I have acquired through my educational experience and apply them to being the greatest educator I can be. I just finished up my student teaching and it was one of the most rewarding experiences thus far. I have interviewed for a position at a high school to start in January. I hope to continue my education in the fall of 2014 by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education, College Student Affairs, or Higher Education Administration. Begoña De Ubieta Major: Spanish with all-level teacher certification Campus Activities: Hispanic Honor Society, Education Honor Society, Volunteer with the Bexar County Family Justice Center The impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake University has impacted my life spiritually, socially and professionally. Every teacher, staff and fellow classmate has profoundly helped me become a better person. These years have been life learning and transforming. They have confirmed my belief in God's providence and that we all must serve in our communities after leaving the school. An important life lesson learned: The greatest lesson I have learned at Our Lady of the Lake University is that we must be the change that we want to see in our communities and the world. Being active members in God's plan works if we act upon His merciful providence. Plans after graduation: With my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and an all-level education certification, my plan is to continue serving in a Title 1 school for San Antonio Independent School District. I currently serve as a student teacher at Young Women's Leadership Academy. I hope to continue at the academy teaching Spanish and helping empower these young girls. My main objective is to continue promoting the value of the Spanish culture and the language, addressing the importance of speaking more than one language in a global economy. Steven Zumaran Major: Philosophy and Art Campus Activities: Student Government Association, Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, University Ministry Choir, Interned with State Representative Justin Rodriguez and Congressman Lloyd Doggett The impact of OLLU: OLLU is the place where I reaffirmed my dedication to community. It is that special place where I was inspired to lead, but with integrity, ethics, and empathy. I was challenged to go beyond what was expected and to question everything. I am absolutely grateful for the experiences and friendships I have made. An important life lesson learned: The only obstacle from achieving anything is yourself. Plans after graduation: I currently am working for Voices for Children San Antonio as the external communications liaison. Our mission is to make children the priority in San Antonio. In addition, I plan on either attending law school or graduate school next year. Further along the line, I intend to run for public office. May 2013 Graduates Jasmine E. Martinez Major: Biology Campus Activities: Soccer Team, Elementary School Tutor, Volunteer Coach for YMCA The impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake University has impacted my life in many ways. OLLU is the first private institution I have attended. I really like the Mexican-American cultural background and faith-based environment the University has to offer. Being Hispanic and Catholic, OLLU has enriched my cultural and spiritual beliefs. I have enjoyed and benefited tremendously from the small-campus community and the one-on-one experience with my professors. I have been playing soccer since I was three-years old. I was very fortunate to have received the opportunity to play soccer at the college level. As part of the OLLU Women’s Soccer Program, we were actively involved with our community. The time management skills and discipline learned playing a sport and balancing academics will be of great value in life. An important life lesson learned: The biggest lesson I have learned is that opportunities come and go. Just because you miss an opportunity doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams. Anything is possible as long as you put your heart and mind into it. Effort and hard work can make your dreams come true when you least expect it. Plans after graduation: Applying to nursing school is my next goal. Once I obtain my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I plan to work as a registered nurse and then perhaps become a Nurse Practitioner. The education I have received at OLLU will be of great value in achieving my goals to serve the medical community. Jennifer Davison Major: Social Work Campus Activities: Basketball Team, Student Worker The impact of OLLU: OLLU helped me establish my identity. I came to OLLU because I was recruited for basketball and was offered a scholarship to play. I was not sure if I was going to graduate high school, let alone go to college. I didn’t think school was for me. When I came to OLLU to play basketball, I did not see myself completing a degree plan and graduating. I was living for the moment, which was basketball. Over the course of years at OLLU, I have matured mentally and redirected the path of my life. This University allowed me to witness life outside of what I was used. I lived on campus, stayed active in University events and stayed on top of my grades so I could continue to play ball. My demeanor about life has changed; I have gained self-determination and self-esteem. An important life lesson learned: I have been distraught at times, reminiscing over things that I’ve been through in life that didn’t seem right. Many individuals that live my lifestyle are stuck in the negative way of life and cannot escape it. But I eventually became fed up with the negative comments of the people in my life. I became determined to show them that I can do anything that I want to do, which is why this graduation is not for me, it’s for them. I knew I was going to make it, but they didn’t. Plans after graduation: I plan on furthering my education after I graduate. Ashley O. Hicks Major: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Campus Activities: Women’s Basketball from 2009-2012 The impact of OLLU: Attending Our Lady of the Lake University has impacted my life by showing me that through hard work and dedication, I can succeed. An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I learned at Our Lady of the Lake University was to always believe in myself no matter what obstacles may be in my way. Plans after graduation: I double majored in Psychology and Kinesiology, and I hope to attend graduate school. My goal is to pursue a career as a sports psychologist. Tyler Tully Major: Religious Studies Impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake convinced me that our Christian faith is action. Although they provided me with an excellent academic education in theology and religious studies, the most important lesson I ever learned while at OLLU will be about faith as a verb. Through our partnerships with San Antonio ministries and non-profits, and through the special calling our school has experienced over the last 118 years, OLLU enabled me to reflect upon the most important aspects of our Christian faith in an environment that produces leaders of change. Faith isn't about belief, but about how we live our lives when confronted with the truth of God's Providence. An important life lesson learned: My experiences at OLLU have forever changed my life. We aren't just in San Antonio by accident. I believe God has placed us into an incredible city with an incredible opportunity that we can experience in the lo cotidiano (every day practices) of life with our friends and neighbors. OLLU has taught me how important a well-rounded, holistic, faith-based education can be. We aren't merely students waiting in line to enter the workforce, we're life-long learners, who fully expect to be able to rise to the occasion when life's challenges come our way. OLLU teaches us how to learn, how to creatively engage current challenges and bring them into conversation with the rich tradition of our faith, the arts, and our cultural identities in order to overcome in exciting ways. Plans after graduation: I will be attending Chicago Theological Seminary for their Master of Divinity program starting in the fall of 2013. I hope to pursue this degree and complete a PhD in theology in the near future. Jackeline Haro Nevarez Major: Accounting Campus Activities: President of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), Capital One Entrepreneurship Challenge Winning Team. The Impact of OLLU: The University gave me great experiences, opportunities, knowledge and the preparation to face the business world. I was able to attend the ALPFA annual business conference in Las Vegas, Nev. I learned how to run my own business through the Capital One Entrepreneurship Challenge. OLLU also helped me get an Accounting Internship at AT&T. An important life lesson learned: Never give up. I started at UTSA and changed my major from biology to architecture. I didn’t decide on accounting until I transferred to OLLU. Even then it took a while for me to mature and learn how to manage my time. But thanks to OLLU’s help, I finally have my degree in accounting. Plans after graduation: I hope to become a senior accountant at AT&T. I plan to pursue a master’s in accounting. And in August, I will start preparing for my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. Jeffrey Cuellar Major: Biology Campus Activities: HOSA, Chemistry Club The impact of OLLU: The Lake showed me how to study and be a better student. I wasn’t used to this environment. I grew up on the South Side with people who didn’t study and didn’t care. Most of my friends didn’t go to college. I was around people who didn’t have the high ambitions I had. But I found a lot of motivation at The Lake. And I’ve learned to adapt to a different environment. An important life lesson learned: I learned about community. Everybody here is family. Even the faculty will take you in. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Your background and past don’t matter. Here, we are all one. Plans after graduation: I plan to go to physical therapy school or optometry school. I’m reviewing both options. Elyse A. Escobar Major: Communication Disorders Campus Activities: Volleyball Team, Assistant Coach of Volleyball Team The impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake University has impacted my life by showing me that there are always people there to support you. I succeeded at OLLU, not only because I had the drive and motivation to graduate, but because others at the Lake pushed me and supported me through my journey. I played volleyball for the University for four years. Those were the best times of my college career. Being a student-athlete is very challenging but also the most rewarding. An important life lesson learned: The biggest lesson I have learned is that you cannot try to be perfect at everything you do in life. It is okay to make mistakes. The best things that come your way are those that are unexpected. Plans after graduation: I hope to pursue my career with my degree from the Lake within the next couple of months. I have a growing family so some time off to spend with them are in my plans as well. Lo’Ron Smith Major: Management Campus Activities: Basketball Team The impact of OLLU: Coming to the Lake has helped me open my eyes to the fact that I could finish my degree. I attended two junior colleges before OLLU, and I struggled. When I enrolled at OLLU to play basketball, I became a better student. The University helped me learn to love learning. An important life lesson learned: I learned to become more independent and successful. I also learned to manage my time after taking 25 hours in my last semester. I had to balance my academics with athletics because I wanted to graduate this spring, and my hard work paid off. I had a lot of support and encouragement from the University, and for that I am grateful. Plans after graduation: I hope to be able to work within a company where I can work my way to the top and actually like my job. I would also like to explore playing professional basketball. Kimberly Joubert Major: History with Sociology minor Campus Activities: McNair Scholars Program, National Honor Society President (OLLU Chapter), Sociology Honors Society, Community Volunteer with Good Samaritan Center and Health Collaborative The impact of OLLU: I have been given the best start to a new life thanks to OLLU. I was accepted after having one child and had a second one along the way. The professors and staff at OLLU have encouraged me while challenging me to expand my horizons and dream big. I am now doing things in my education and life that I never thought possible. An important life lesson learned: Never give up on myself. Even when I thought that I had given all that I had and could not continue, I was repeatedly shown that I could accomplish more than I even dreamed with the encouragement of my professors and peers. It is through their constant positive encouragement that I have succeeded this far in my educational career. Plans after graduation: I am moving with my husband and sons to Kansas to attend the graduate program at Kansas State University in Manhattan. I hope to expand the research I started with the McNair program and within the OLLU History Department that examines the lives of Americans during times of war throughout the 20th century. I also hope to encourage others to continue learning no matter where they are in life. Andres Peinado Major: Religious Studies with a minor in Mexican American Studies Campus Activities Community Volunteer with SAY Si, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, St. Vinny’s Bistro at Haven for Hope Impact of OLLU: My journey in this institution not only challenged me on an academic level but also on a personal level. As a Religious Studies major, I was able to explore and examine the core teachings of my Catholic faith and values and apply them within the context of my own Mexican-American cultural identity. Our Lady of the Lake’s curriculum offers a holistic approach to education which allows individuals to examine identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace. An important life lesson learned: If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re onto something big. Because hard work is not hard when you concentrate on your passions, the biggest lesson I take with me is coming to the realization that discovering your passions and pursuing them places you on the path to happiness. Plans after graduation: The late, great César Chávez once said: “The end of all education should surely be service to others” I feel that Our Lady of the Lake University has given me these precise tools to go back as a servant to the community and empower others for success. Alisha Crump Major: Kinesiology Campus Activities: Women’s Basketball Team, NAIA Champions of Character Volunteer The impact of OLLU: When I first got to Our Lady of the Lake University, I was not focused, and I had a very nonchalant attitude about school. But after meeting my professors, I realized that they were accessible to me; all I had to do was ask for help and they did whatever they could to help me. Also, the friends I made on campus showed me that they were going through the same experiences so I felt accepted by them. OLLU has also taught me to be accountable for my actions and to stay focused on my goals. An important life lesson learned: I learned that time goes on. No one is going to wait for you to get your priorities straight. There are many people trying to accomplish the same thing that you are trying to attain. The lesson I learned that if you do not take things seriously when given the opportunity, people will soon surpass you, and you will be left behind. This is true in school, sports and in life. OLLU taught me to be serious about my goals. Plans after graduation: I am thankful for my degree and for the experience I received from the Lake. I plan to keep the motivation and determination going to continue my education so I can be a physical therapist. I want to help people the way OLLU has helped me. Edgar Ramos Major: Spanish Campus Activities: President of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society, Men’s Soccer Team The impact of OLLU: OLLU has prepared me for my professional career. The small classes at the Lake allowed me to get to know my professors and that made all the difference for me. They were great mentors, and I looked up to them as they taught me and prepared me for the road ahead. I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Maribel Lárraga for pushing me to the edge, off the edge, catching me, and pulling me back up. Her influence helped to make me a better father, teammate, brother, son and most of all, a better person. An important life lesson learned: Stay flexible. Some things we can control in our lives, but, a lot of things that life throws at us, we cannot control. We have to stay flexible, adjust, and learn from everything and everyone. Plans after graduation: With my degree, I plan to teach Spanish at the high school level, coach and be a positive influence in the community. My mission in life is to help others and to be as happy as I can be while doing it because that is what God wants me to do. Jordan Whitfield Double Major: History and English Campus activities: Lake Front newspaper, Honors Program, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, First Year Connection Program, Student Government Association, Resident Assistant The impact of OLLU: OLLU helped me discover my passion for working with communities and gain confidence in my abilities to pursue that passion. Experiences with different organizations, like the First Year Connection Program, developed my skills and helped me grow as a leader. An important life lesson learned: I've learned a lot about appreciating diversity in my time at OLLU. When I started as a freshman, I struggled to be open to new experiences. But, thanks to challenging leadership, classroom experiences and supportive mentorship from faculty and staff, I made new friends, learned about different cultures and religions, and discovered the food and music that I now love. Plans after graduation: I will be joining the Teach For America corps in Eastern North Carolina teaching first grade students in the fall. After I complete my two-year commitment to that program, I plan to attend graduate school in an area related to education, community action, public policy, or writing and communication. Ana Federico Double Major: Communication Arts with a Public Relations Track and Spanish Campus Activities: Vice President of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society, City of San Antonio Intern, Student Intern in OLLU’s Marketing and Communications Office and Student Worker in OLLU’s Admissions Office The impact of OLLU: Graduating from a private Catholic high school motivated me to earn my bachelor’s degree from a private Catholic university. Being able to combine my education with my faith has been a great experience. At OLLU, I was surrounded by amazing professors who always found the time to work with me and help me succeed. I am glad I had professors who lectured from their own professional experience. Because of this opportunity, I had no doubt that public relations is what I want to do. An important life lesson learned: I've been through ups and down during these four years as a college student and from each experience I have learned to never give up. Sometimes I would feel that the sky would fall and that the water would get too deep, but then as I look back I can see that I am capable to take on any challenge. Plans after graduation: I definitely plan to continue my studies and get my master’s degree in public administration. I’m also pursing job opportunities with a full-service public relations agency and with a government agency as a public information officer. Jeffrey Huber Major: Social Work with a minor in Religious Studies Campus activities: Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, University Ministry, Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence, Providence Leadership Program, Parish Internship Program, Volunteering at Haven for Hope and St. PJ's Children's Home, and Awakening Retreat The impact of OLLU: OLLU became my new home and provided opportunities for me to grow academically, professionally, spiritually, and in general as a human person. Academically, it challenged me to think in new ways. My social work classes prepared me for my practicum and future social work practice, and my religious studies classes challenged me to critically think. Professionally, I learned how to network and establish relationships that helped me to further my goals. Spiritually, my faith exploded with the many retreats, Mass, Bible studies, and other spiritual opportunities. Most importantly, it provided me with a system of brothers, friends, mentors, and support who will accompany me as I continue onto the next stage of my life. An important life lesson learned: The biggest lesson has been how to take advantage of the opportunities and relationships that Providence places in our lives. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of at OLLU, both inside the classroom, in extracurricular activities, with the CDP sisters, and in volunteer and work settings. In order to take advantage of those opportunities, one must learn how to maintain a balance between them. Learning how to do that has allowed me to experience so much more. Plans after graduation: I completed my practicum at Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program in Houston and they have offered me a job. I will be doing that this summer as well as starting formation with a Catholic religious order of priests called the Somascan Fathers. This will include beginning philosophy studies in the fall. I also plan to begin my Master of Social Work in the spring. Elissa Brauchle Major: Psychology Campus Activities: Honors Program, Music Performance, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: When I began my journey at OLLU, I already possessed a strong desire to serve others. However, I had my mind set on beginning my career after earning my bachelor's degree and did not plan on eventually pursuing a doctorate degree. The immense amount of mentorship that I received from my professors changed these plans. My professors saw something in me that I did not initially recognize; and after much persuasion, I began to see my potential as well. The psychology and honors faculty provided me with opportunities to increase my personal and professional skills and opened the door for graduate school. An important life lesson learned: OLLU's focus on service and leadership has truly impacted the way in which I see myself. I have always desired to serve others through my career, but I had never considered myself to be a leader. However, through the exposure to leadership that I have received from OLLU and the various experiences that have allowed me to practice leadership, I have come to realize that I can be a leader while simultaneously serving those who follow me. I now recognize that this is the type of servant leadership that Jesus used while He was on the earth and the style of leadership that I would like to emulate. Plans after graduation: The degree and experiences that the Lake has given me will provide me with a strong foundation for my future. After graduation, I plan on attending Regent University, in Virginia Beach, and earning a Psychology Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I desire to use this degree to serve survivors of trauma. I am especially interested in working with children. My practicum experience with The Rape Crisis Center has confirmed this desire, and I feel extremely fulfilled when I am able to provide empathic understanding, support, and crisis intervention to children who have survived sexual abuse. I am also interested in using my degree to conduct international mission work and share the love of Jesus with survivors of trauma throughout the world. Michael Johnson Major: Management Weekend College Student The impact of OLLU: Finishing my degree at The Lake has given me a sense of accomplishment. I’ve gone to school for six years while working full-time at USAA. I’ve learned a lot, met different people and made new friends. I came because I was at a standstill in my career. Going into management was and is my goal. An important life lesson learned: It’s never too late to get your degree. I’m 41-years-old and that proves it’s never too late. Plans after graduation: I’m going to seek management positions within USAA. Hopefully, my degree will open some doors and make that possible. Amanda Lozano Major: Biology Campus Activities: Soccer Team, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: OLLU is a small school with a huge heart for its students. Faculty and administrators want to see us succeed in all fields of study. Support is always available, and guidance is always accessible. The comfortable one-on-one atmosphere was easy to adapt to and simply made learning easier. Attending OLLU has been an incredible experience and the people are unforgettable. I encourage future students to be a part of this University. An important life lesson learned: As a Catholic, I believe God is always there observing, guiding, providing and challenging. Mentally comprehending the aspects of determination – the challenges, risks, failures, lessons, achievements and rewards – will provide the strength and stamina needed to perform in the classroom. I’m not finished learning so as I continue to learn, I will polish my determination and strive on. Plans after graduation: With my degree in biology, I plan to pursue a career in the field of physical therapy. I have been involved in athletics for several years and have seen various injuries. Experiencing and observing the effects of those injuries among my teammates, friends and opponents led me to embark on this career path. The passion involved in playing a sport comes with risks and the injuries can hinder anyone’s athletic career. Though this field is competitive and demanding, I hope to become a physical therapist so I can rehabilitate injured athletes, and challenge them to re-obtain the strength (mentally and physically) they need to return to the sport they love. Jesus A. Martinez Major: Kinesiology Campus Activities: Soccer Team, Elementary School Mentoring, YMCA Volunteering The impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me an excellent education that will help me succeed in my future. It has also given me the opportunity to work in an actual office setting which will help me with my upcoming endeavors. Being part of the OLLU men's soccer program was a great privilege and honor, and it also helped me with time management and gave me a greater sense of responsibility. An important life lesson learned: What I learned is that God will always be there with me through thick and thin as long as I trust in him. Plans after graduation: I am planning to pursue a master’s degree in kinesiology. Laura D. Bordallo Major: Biology, Chemistry minor, Biliterate Certification Campus Activities: Higher Achievement Through Leadership Opportunities (HALO) coordinator, First Year Connection Mentor, Leadership Institute for Freshmen Excellence (LIFE) mentor, Lake Orientation mentor, Sigma Zeta Science and Mathematics National Honor Society, Sigma Pi Spanish Honor Society, Association of Black Students, Health Profession Students of America, Student Government Representative, Volunteer at Haven for Hope and VITAS Hospice, Science and Mathematics Renovation, Retention and Research Program The impact of OLLU: OLLU was not my first school of choice, but when I visited the campus on a Lake Day, I simply could not leave! I fell in love with its energy, friendliness, and outstanding academic programs. I thank Providence for bringing me here because I have grown professionally, personally and spiritually. I cannot name another campus that can provide such a well-rounded education. An important life lesson learned: I learned, the hard way, that plans do not always follow through. Nonetheless, the Lake provided me with an exceptional support system composed of friends, professors, and faculty whom were always willing to help me achieve my goals. Plans after graduation: With the challenging courses, unique opportunities, extracurricular activities, and accessibility to professionals, the Lake has prepared me for literally any career in biology I choose to endeavor. In fact, I'm already employed at the American Heart Association. I want to serve my San Antonio community through this position while I prepare for medical school. My main goal is to become a doctor. Robert McGhee Major: Chemistry with minors in Biology and Mathematics Campus Activities: Chemistry Club, Math Society, Tutor, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: I’m from a small town in Minnesota. OLLU opened my eyes to what is out there. It opened me up to a world of diversity. An important life lesson learned: Work hard and good things will happen to you. Because I had one-on-one time with my professors, I learned how to study and focus my efforts. Plans after graduation: One of my professors has recommended me for a high school teaching position. I hope to teach for a while and then go to pharmacy school. Norma Fraga Major: Accounting Campus Activities: Volleyball Team, Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), Delta Mu Delta Honor Society The impact of OLLU: Our Lady of the Lake University has prepared me for the business world through my vigorous courses and intelligent professors. My internship with State Farm helped me build up self confidence as well as introduce me to the business world. An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I learned was that anything is possible through hard work and dedication. I had some courses that seemed nearly impossible to pass the first day of class. But after learning how to manage my time and pulling many all nighters, the results were always rewarding. Plans after graduation: I will work on a master’s degree here at Our Lady of the Lake University while pursuing a career in accounting. Pak Leung Lai Major: International Business Campus Activities: Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society, Community Volunteer, Student Employment Work Study, International Club The impact of OLLU: I appreciated the positive energy from OLLU. OLLU is a loving community that stands with the people to build a better society especially in the Westside of San Antonio. I enjoyed the small class sizes that enabled me to interact more freely with my professors and classmates. It made it possible for my classmates and me to learn from each other and create a sense of family. It also helped me feel more comfortable to ask questions in class An important life lesson learned: To learn about different cultures. I came to San Antonio as a high school exchange student from Hong Kong in 2007. It was a challenge to live in a completely new environment and learn English as fast as I did. I found the best way to understand your own culture is to live and study abroad for a while. It gives you the chance to better understand your own culture and you have the chance to learn from other cultures as well. This is my sixth year living in San Antonio, and I learned so much from the culture found here. The good parts of my Chinese culture and the culture I have found in San Antonio have coalesced making me a better and stronger person. Plans after graduation: I’m looking forward to moving back to Hong Kong for graduate school and finding a job. I am looking to land a job in the business field. Angelina Rogers Major: Psychology Campus Activities: Math Tutor, Resident Assistant, Honors Program, McNair Scholars Program, Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society, Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence, Choir Member, OLLUtlan Mariachi Ensemble, Director of Music Ministry, Biliterate Certificate Program The impact of OLLU: When my grandmother was my age, she earned a full scholarship to Our Lady of the Lake but didn't end up attending because she got married instead. However, her daughter, my mother, did end up attending OLLU for college, along with a few of my aunts and uncles. My parents even got married in the Sacred Heart Chapel! This school has been in my life since before I was born. An important life lesson learned: One of my favorite Shakespearean quotes encompasses a big lesson I learned in my struggles here at OLLU: "There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow." To me, this quote puts me in mind of all of my failures that, at first were devastating, but later turned out to be blessings in disguise. My first year at OLLU, I applied for a scholarship that I didn't get. I couldn't shake the feeling of defeat as I worked hard to pay for school on my own without taking out loans. Later I realized that the jobs I worked gave me incredible experiences as a tutor, a musician, a teaching assistant, and a resident assistant that I never would have experienced had I received that scholarship. Another hard blow was when I applied for the McNair Scholars Program and didn't get in. I had heard what an amazing opportunity it was and was desperate to be a part of it, so when I was told I should reapply the following semester, I did. I had taken that semester to find out exactly what I wanted to do in graduate school and what my interests in research were so that when I was accepted the second time, I was ready! Plans after graduation: After receiving mediocre results on the GRE, I was preparing to take the year off to raise money and study to retake the GRE, but Dr. Steve Blanchard (Sociology professor) and Dr. Brenda Guerrero (Psychology professor) insisted that I apply to graduate school. They helped me and pushed me to get my applications in. Thanks to this school and its incredible faculty, I will be attending Michigan State University in the Multicultural Lab of their Clinical Psychology PhD program. Not only that, because I was given the opportunity to be a McNair Scholar and because of the commitment to service that has been instilled in me by OLLU, I have received the Academic Achievement Graduate Assistantship at Michigan State – pretty much a full ride and then some. I owe this school and everyone who is a part of it a great debt that I hope to repay someday. Mark Anthony Martinez Major: Early Childhood Education Campus Activities: Community Volunteer, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Student Teacher at Colonial Hills Elementary The impact of OLLU: OLLU has prepared me to be a professional in my career. Throughout my time at OLLU, I have developed a strong work ethic and have developed the skills needed to be successful in my career endeavors. An important life lesson learned: I've learned that in life it is always important to be persistent. Anything in life worth having, is worth working for. If your work feels authentic and true to you, then you will find success. Plans after graduation: I hope to begin a long and successful teaching career in the public school system. I want to take everything I have learned from the Lake and give back to the Westside community by working in a Title 1 elementary school. David Romo Major: Communication Arts with a track in Broadcast Campus Activities: Sigma Theta Epsilon, First Year Connection Program, HALO Leadership Program, Lake Front TV and The Lake Front newspaper The impact of OLLU: I’m from El Paso and didn’t know anybody when I got here, but the Lake has given me a sense of community and allowed me to meet leaders from all over San Antonio. I’ve been able to interview Archbishop Gustavo Garcia, Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, John Quinones from ABC and Mayor Julian Castro. The list goes on. I’ve been able to network with a lot of people. It’s been very rewarding. Important life lesson learned: I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make it. But coming here has shown me what my strengths are and made me realize that if I put all my efforts into what I love doing, I can accomplish anything. Plans after graduation: I am currently a producer for Univision 41, so I’m hoping to land a job in the Spanish-speaking media. Alice Espinosa Major: Chemistry Campus Activities: Chemistry Club and Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: It has improved my work ethic and has given me hands-on training, experience and that one-on-one attention that I wouldn’t have received at a larger school. OLLU is not just a school, it is a family and a second home. An important life lesson learned: When life knocks you down on your knees, pray for help to get back up and get stronger. I lost my dad in 2009. I always had in mind that he would see me cross the stage and walk me down the aisle for I’m getting married the day after graduation. Now I know he is watching over me every day and I know he is proud of me. Plans after graduation: Thanks to the direction of the OLLU Career Services Office and my chemistry professor Dr. Teresita Munguia, I will be working for Reed Candle Company as a chemist developing new products. Austin Delgado Major: Philosophy Campus Activities: Volunteer with Communities in Schools and Haven for Hope The impact of OLLU: OLLU is a small community which allowed me to have more one-on-one time with professors and build relationships with them even after my classes ended. I was also able to develop lasting friendships with classmates. An important life lesson: All the skills that you learn in class will benefit you in some way one day, so it’s best to take them seriously. If you don’t, you really haven’t learned all that you could. Plans after graduation: I am almost sure that I will be attending law school at St. Mary’s University. I plan to get my law degree in Civil Law with a specialization in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Jamaysa Ricci Major: Biology Campus Activities: President of University Programming Council, First Year Connection Mentors, Delta Xi Nu The impact of OLLU: The Lake helped me grow up. When I came here, I was shy and didn’t talk much. The school is so small it allowed me to grow and see what else is out there besides my major. I took a psychology class and a piano class and explored different types of music. I took a pharmacology course with Dr. Hall. I learned about event planning with First Year Connection. I made friends for a lifetime -- not only with students but with faculty. An important life lesson learned: I learned that in order to lead you have to let others lead. As president of the University Programming Council, I learned how to lead a team and get things done on time. But I was also able to let them lead and take over their own events. Plans after graduation: I’m going to take a year off of school, save money and then get my master’s in microbiology. After that, I’m going to go to medical school and become a pediatrician. Margarita Salas Major: Mathematics, Secondary teacher certification Campus Activities: Alpha Chi, Sigma Zeta, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Lake Ambassador, OLLU Math Society, Mizuumi Anime Club The impact of OLLU: Being at OLLU has helped me grow as a person and a leader. When I first came here as a freshman, I didn’t think I was ready for college. I became part of the LIFE program (Leadership Institute for Freshman Excellence), which helped me find myself. Afterwards, I started joining other organizations and saw myself grow and open up. An important life lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I first started at OLLU, I had some dual-enrollment courses so I was placed in a sophomore math class as a freshman. I thought, “hey I can do this,” but my grades reflected otherwise. The next year I became a math tutor and thought to myself, “if other students can come to me for help, then I shouldn’t be afraid to ask others for help either.” Plans after graduation: I have applied to graduate school at the Lake. I would like to teach high school for a while and then hopefully move up and become a curriculum specialist. Paula Borrero Major: Communication Disorders The mpact of OLLU: I have been able to learn and be exposed to what I am passionate about, which has prepared me for what is to come in my future career. An important life lesson learned: Be open and caring for everyone regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they look. Plans after graduation: I will be returning to OLLU to work on my master’s in Communication Disorders, which is a very competitive program. David Hurtado Major: Business Campus Activities: Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: OLLU gave me the opportunity to further my education. I am a non-traditional student and a single parent. Weekend College was a godsend. It was the only way I could complete my education. An important life lesson learned: Never quit. Have a goal and continually strive to achieve it. Plans after graduation: Earning my bachelor’s degree has allowed me to change career paths within the Department of Veterans Affairs where I currently work. In the fall, I will begin the MBA program here at OLLU and will continue advancing on my career path. Abby DuLaney Major: Marketing Campus Activities: Soccer Team, Community Volunteer, Student Employment Work Study The impact of OLLU: I had never planned on attending a private, Catholic University, but now after four years I can officially say that I couldn’t imagine not attending OLLU. It’s amazing to me how welcoming, encouraging and supportive the OLLU community really is and just how close the student body grows. Being a part of the OLLU Women’s Soccer team for the past four years, has been a great honor and privilege. I am so blessed to have met and played with a fantastic group of women. The friendships and encouragement they have provided me with will stay with me forever. The coaching staff has also been a great support group for me and I know that they will continue to remain a part of my life after graduation. I have also worked for the Student Employment Office at OLLU. I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity, being able to work with such amazing people, and finding students jobs through the university. My supervisor, Myra Martinez, has been a great mentor and role model for me along the way. I have learned so much from her and my coworkers, and the friendships we have established will not end come graduation day. An important life lesson learned: Never let anyone or anything bring down your self esteem or stop you from reaching your goal. We will face difficulties for the rest of our lives, especially in the business world, but not letting them affect you, has been one of the many lessons I have learned while attending OLLU. Plans after graduation: I am applying for law school at the University of Texas School of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law and the University of Houston Law Center. After law school, I would love to use my business-marketing background from OLLU to open up my own law firm. Juan “Eddie” Ortiz Major: Accounting Campus Activities: Basketball Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA), Capital One Entrepreneurship Challenge The impact of OLLU: The Lake helped me grow from a student to an adult. My internship with State Farm was extremely helpful. I learned how to dress for work, how to send a professional email, how to communicate professionally. The internship taught me what it’s like to have a job in the real world. An important life lesson: Keep moving forward. I learned that through failure. My first couple of semesters I had a 2.0 GPA. I wasn’t managing my free time well. Eventually, the motivation of having to find a job when I graduate helped me develop better time management skills. After that, I focused on my grades and pretty much always made a 4.0. Plans after graduation: I’m working with State Farm as a sales representative. I’ll probably continue working there and go into the master’s program for accounting at The Lake. An accounting firm I’ve interned with, BKD, offered me a job in October 2014 after I complete my master’s degree. So I’ll go to work for them. Sandra Rivera Major: Criminal Justice Campus Activities: Criminal Justice Society, Alpha Chi, Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society The Impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the tools and confidence I need in my professional career. The professors have been influential and supportive. The Lake has given me the desire to continue my education and pursue a master’s degree. An important life lesson learned: I am capable of so much more than what I originally thought. I am a single mom, but I have maintained a 3.9 GPA and hopefully will graduate Magna Cum Laude in May. With perseverance and determination, anything is possible. Plans after graduation: Because of the experience I obtained during my internship, I want to work in the public sector and start my career with probation or parole. Desirea Aguilar Major: Social Work Campus Activities: Volleyball Team, Community and Parish Volunteer The impact of OLLU: OLLU has opened doors for me and given me opportunities to better my future. An important life lesson: Always believe in God and myself. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, I know to look up to the man above and just pray. Taking the time to realize that God has a plan for me is something that I did not think about before attending OLLU. Now with graduation less than a month away and being hired for my first professional job, I can be nothing but grateful. Plans after graduation: I have already received a job offer from Child Protective Services. I also will work on a master’s degree. Brandis K. Hurt Major: English with Teacher Certification Campus Activities: Cross-Country, Community Volunteer, Student-teaching at Brennan High School The impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the skills and support I need to have a successful career. Thanks to my cross-country coach, professors, and all the other great people, I have learned so much and gained the support needed to help me have a successful college experience. Knowing that I have a great University supporting me in my future gives me the confidence to pursue my goals. An important life lesson learned: One huge difference I noticed in attending OLLU compared to any other school was how much more involved we are with our community. Almost every semester, I have been placed at a school, shelter, or after-school program near OLLU that has needed extra help. I've met so many people and made a ton of connections while doing so, but more importantly, service-learning has taught me how important it is to give back to the community. Plans after graduation: I hope to teach high school English and become a coach. I have gained a tremendous amount of experience at the Lake in my Education program that will help me succeed in my future career. I also had an amazing experience being on the first-ever cross-country team here at OLLU which I will carry with me into my hopes of becoming a high school coach. Dominick Morales Major: Music Campus Activities: First Year Connection Mentor, Mu Phi Epsilon, Student Government Association, Anime Club The impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me a greater sense of community. I have matured in my faith and academics. It has made me a better person. An important life lesson learned: You may not always understand, but God has a plan for you. Plans after graduation: I’m going to graduate school at Texas A&M and hopefully earn a doctorate. Jessica Muñoz Major: Criminal Justice Campus Activities: Criminal Justice Society, Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Intern at the Bexar County 437th District Court The impact of OLLU: OLLU has helped me to see that I have something meaningful to offer to our community and ultimately to society. I have more confidence in myself and in what I can accomplish through good old fashioned hard work and dedication. An important life lesson learned: I have learned that you should never give up, that you are never too old, and that it is never too late. As long as you have people in your corner to encourage and support you, nothing is out of reach. The professors at the Lake have been in my corner. I am not merely a face in the classroom, but a member of a family – the Lake family. Plans after graduation: I hope to pursue my graduate studies in Social Work and Public Policy. Coupled with my undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice, I feel that I will be equipped with a broad knowledge base in order to analyze, evaluate, and finally implement social policies that benefit our communities and people across the globe, while simultaneously promoting social and economic justice and empowerment. Gabrielle Perez Major: Drama, Digital Film and Television Campus Activities: First Year Connection Mentor, Delta Xi Nu Sorority, LakeFront TV, Awakening Retreat The impact of OLLU: I came to OLLU as a transfer student from a public university. I was really shy, but everyone was welcoming and they brought me out of my shell. I was able to get involved and develop valuable leadership skills. An important life lesson learned: The Lake has helped me identify my strengths. This allowed me to select a major and really come to understand myself. I have grown spiritually and academically. Plans after graduation: I’m currently doing promotions work and I’ll be taking on a video editing position. In the long run, I’d like to screen write for television. Victor Ovalle, Jr. Major: Computer Information Systems and Security Campus Activities: CyberSaints Team, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity The impact of OLLU: When I first came to OLLU, I knew I wanted a career in something dealing with computers, but I did not know what I wanted to do specifically. OLLU helped me define my career. Now I want to be a computer security analyst. An important life lesson learned: You have to network. The Lake provided me with the opportunity to attend a lot of conferences and meet people in the field. It opened my eyes to the possibilities in my career field. Plans after graduation: I have an IT job lined up with a bank in my hometown of Los Angeles, Calif. I also have two other job possibilities with large IT and internet companies. Marcel Campos Major: International Business Campus Activities: Basketball Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes The impact of OLLU: The Lake showed me the importance of community. I came from Brazil and didn’t know anybody when I got here. I was homesick. But once I was here, all the professors knew my name. Everybody was willing to help. The people here became like family. They made me feel at home. An important life lesson learned: If you work hard, look for help and ask questions, it will pay off. I would sit in the front of my classes, participate and show interest. I was an A and B student. One Bible verse that helped me is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Plans after graduation: I’m trying to decide. I have offers from three teams to play pro basketball in Brazil. I also have a job offer as a financial advisor for a good company in Midland, Texas. Octavio Herrera Major: Kinesiology Campus Activities: Soccer Team, Community Volunteer The impact of OLLU: I came to the Lake as a kinesiology major. The classes I took solidified my decision to get a degree in kinesiology and motivated me to continue my education in that field and apply to graduate school. An important life lesson learned: I thought I would have to go to college by myself and learn everything on my own. But I found almost all the students I had in my classes were willing to help. I learned to trust other classmates when I doubted I could. They were a big reason, along with my professors, why I found so much success. Plans after graduation: I’ve been accepted into the UTSA graduate school for exercise and health in kinesiology. When I finish, I want to get a doctorate in physical therapy. I hope to join a clinic, and maybe one day, open my own.