(Dec. 18, 2013) -- Meet Zaida Flores. The Honors College student aims to use her degree to help immigrants become U.S. citizens.
It's a situation all too familiar to Flores. As a young child, she was an immigrant, and it wasn't until 2007 that she earned her green card. Recently, she became a U.S. citizen, an unforgettable moment that made her very proud.
She plans to give back and enable others to have the same sense of pride and achievement that she has attained at UTSA.
When Flores first enrolled at UTSA, everything was new to her. She was used to the small town life of Giddings in East Texas, and she found it a challenge to balance social life with classes.
But she says UTSA was the perfect fit, and she credits three people with helping make the university and San Antonio her home away from home.
Her mother was her rock. She taught Flores the values of working hard and never giving up on your dreams. Likewise, Freshman Composition instructor John Helton taught Flores the importance of discipline and of persistence in getting through tough times. Marilyn Caskey, who owns a small clothing consignment shop and for whom Flores has worked for nearly three years, has been a strong mentor -- a person Flores characterizes as being selfless and devoted to helping others.
The best advice the criminal justice major ever received was to not let failure get you down, to look for the good in what you've done and then figure out how to better it next time.
"I'm sad and happy and scared about graduating," said Flores. "I'm sad because I'm going to miss the people I've come to know here because it has been like a second home. I'm happy because I'll be moving on to my future and seeing what opportunities that are there. I'm scared because you never know what the future holds, but I think that's a good thing. I have learned so much at UTSA about learning how to be self-reliant and always doing your best."
Flores graduates this month with her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.
Do you know a fascinating UTSA student who is planning to graduate in May 2014? Share that story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
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.