(Nov. 27, 2013) -- Meet Omolara-Jara Lawal. The Houston native overcame significant obstacles before finding success at UTSA.
Lara was four years old when her mother died of leukemia. Soon after, her father sent her and her three brothers to live in Nigeria with an uncle and aunt. Her oldest brother stayed in Houston with her father.
"I don't think he was overburdened but I think it would have been a lot to take care of five kids," she says.
While in Nigeria, Lara learned to speak her father's native language, Yoruba, as well as some French. She also assimilated to the region's strict cultural norms.
"There is a lot of discipline in Nigeria," she says.
After skipping the fifth and sixth grades, Lara returned to Houston at age 10.
"I was teased a little," she says. "You know kids, when they see someone they're not used to seeing."
Lawal, though, found her own world in the library.
"I love to read," gushes the UTSA business finance major.
When she started at UTSA, she says she frequently visited the John Peace Library. When she saw the library had an opening for a peer coach — student workers trained to help other students with library-related inquires — she jumped at the opportunity.
Lara says her job is exciting and rewarding because students are always thankful for assistance. Tyler Dunn, a library assistant who supervises the peer coaches, said Lara is always very helpful to students.
"Lara's outgoing personality and leadership skills make her very effective at sharing her library know-how with other students," Dunn said.
Lawal said she enjoys helping others at the Libraries, and hopes to build on her skills by working for Teach for America after she graduates.
Lara says she misses her family very much, but she hopes she's made them proud.
"I know my dad always wants what is best for me," she said.
Do you know someone in the UTSA community with a great story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will consider your submission for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
Story Courtesy of Stephanie Sanchez and Alice Frederick, UTSA Libraries
This end-of-semester concert will feature the 3rd through 8th grade students who have participated in the UTSA String Project this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus
The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, Curtis Vaughan Observatory invites everyone to join them for their monthly stargazing event on top of the Flawn Science Building.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory, Main Campus
May’s Free Second Sunday at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures features "Accordions Across Cultures," with performances of Mexican, German and Czech accordion music, a documentary screening and crafts for the kids.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
This three-day event will focus on the tools, tactics and motives involved in computer and network attacks. Attendees from around the world will take part in world-class hands-on trainings and technical discussions.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
Visit with faculty, alumni and students to discuss the benefits of and requirements for a Master Degree in Public Administration and/or the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration & Leadership.
Meeting Assembly Room (BVB 1.338), Downtown Campus
UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Sciences.
UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Business, the College of Public Policy and University College.
UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
The UTSA community is invited to honor the roughly 2,600 UTSA staff members who contribute to the success of the university and its students.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
Join UTSA faculty and staff, current students, and area central office administrators/program alumni to learn about this exciting accelerated and web-enhanced program leading to Texas Superintendent Certification. The event is free and open to the public.
BVB 1.322, Downtown Campus
Indonesian native follows his dream and returns to UTSA to earn a Ph.D.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.