Wendy, 21, is in her fourth year at the Universidad Nacional de El Salvador where she is studying Business Administration. She lives at home with her father, a laborer, her mother, a housewife, and her younger sister and younger brother. Wendy is the first in her family to graduate high school, much less attend college. She gets up four days a week at 4:00am and leaves her house by 4:45am, boarding two public busses to arrive at the university by 6:30am. After a long day at school and another lengthy bus ride home, Wendy ends the day by working on homework until well after dark before turning in around 11 p.m.
We asked Wendy to answer a few questions to help you get to know her better. Below are her responses!
What are some of your professional aspirations?
After I graduate, I’d like to work as a manager at a company, overseeing the business administration.
Why do you think your education is important?
My education is important because I want to give my family a better life, and serve and support the young people in my community.
Describe someone who has inspired or motivated you:
In my education, there are actually three people who motivate me: 1.) My godfather, Miguel Hernandez, supports and inspires me by telling me about professionals who serve as role models to encourage me to achieve my goals. 2.) Two of my teachers—Silvia Anzora, from high school, and Patricia Sigaran, from 9th grade—support me by giving me resources that will help me in my studies.
How has the crime/violence in this country affected you personally?
When I ride the buses, gang members get on and demand money. Right now, we can’t take classes that go very late because the gang members impose curfews and you can’t be out past a certain time.
How do you think positive change can come about in your community or country?
In my community, we could change people’s mindsets by teaching them that their children need education and need to go to college. I think if parents learned how be the kind of parents who counsel and know how to guide their children towards a good education, there would be positive change.
Tell us about your community service project.
My project is the water filter project for our community. There are 7 of us scholarship students that are in charge of this project. In our free time, we go visit the families who have been given water filters [through the scholarship program] to check on how they are using them and provide maintenance when it’s needed.
What do you do in your free time?
I dedicate my free time to studying for my classes and I also like to practice singing.
What is your favorite book or genre?
I like reading the Bible and my textbooks, and Isometimes read works of literature.
What is your favorite music?
I like Christian music.
What are your best qualities?
I’m friendly, responsible, studious and always smiling.
What is an interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
Ever since I was little I have loved to sing but I never took lessons to be able to do it well. Now that I am older, I had the opportunity to join a choral group at my church. I don’t sing very well but I feel like in a group I sound better. One thing I haven’t been able to do yet is sing high notes, which is quite a challenge, but I know that I will learn to eventually. What I like most is being able to share God through singing and I like to sing with Norma Ramos, another scholarship student and friend of mine, because she is like a sister to me.
What would you say if you could speak face-to-face with your sponsors?
Well first of all, I would be amazed that I could meet them in person and I would be so happy to be able to thank them in person. I would ask them about their families and tell them about my life as a student and my spiritual life.