To be around truly selfless people is so inspiring, so moving, that it gives me goosebumps. And it seems that here, even in South Texas where winter days can reach into the 90s, I’ve always got them.
When I met with a group of students who had traveled to a struggling, earthquake-ravaged community in Peru, I had them. Here were four college guys, with a bond like that of brothers, who shouldn’t be worried about much more than passing their next final. Instead, they spent almost two years trying to find a way to deliver clean water to villagers who drink the same water their livestock use to bathe.
It wasn’t an assignment. It wasn’t for class credit. It was simply to do the right thing for a community that so badly needed a little help.
I got goosebumps again when I spoke with a graduate student working at one of UTSA’s newest centers, the Teacher Education Autism Model. With a small smile, she recalled sitting still while a preschooler punched her and spit in her face. Repeatedly, she’d try to redirect him. And repeatedly, she’d get hit.
Why do you do it? I asked her. The answer was immediate: “I want to make a difference,” she said.
That is altruism to the core, and it’s inspiring.
There are so many more goosebump-worthy moments, not just within the pages of this issue of Sombrilla, but throughout the hallways and classrooms of UTSA. And they happen all the time, even in the middle of the night.
Like the group of students who stayed on their feet for 18 hours straight, through pain and exhaustion, dancing to raise money for children with cancer and to show them that they care about their struggle and will not give up the battle to find a cure.
Or like the world-renowned researcher who has dedicated his entire career, and most of his life, to trying to understand the disease that ravages the brain and steals people’s memories, so that someday, maybe he can help stop it.
I hope that while you read these stories, you also get goosebumps, even in the midst of summer. And I hope it’s not from the air conditioning.