Commencement Spotlight: Jacquelyn Reyes learned more about herself at UTSA while helping others
(Dec. 1, 2016) -- Meet Jacquelyn "Jackie" Reyes. She's a first-generation UTSA college student looking to lift others up through service to her community.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Reyes was sure that she would attend college there. She changed her mind during her senior year of high school when she met a UTSA representative at a local college fair who shared the unique opportunities that the university offers its students.
"The information that I got from UTSA was different than others. It felt more modern," said Reyes. "Every pamphlet emphasized diversity, showed how unique UTSA's student population is, and that spoke to me."
Reyes enrolled at UTSA in 2012. She was immediately enamored by the diversity of the student population and the many opportunities to get involved at the university.
Over time, she became a well-known student leader and served as a senator with the UTSA Student Government Association. She joined and eventually became president of the UTSA Filipino Student Association and Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. She's even an avid athlete in UTSA's many intramural leagues.
"The best part of UTSA is meeting new people from different walks of life," said Reyes. "I enjoy learning about my fellow Roadrunners, what they've been through and where they want to go."
Being an active undergraduate also helped Reyes discover a new passion.
Initially an anthropology major, her extracurricular activities led her to consider a new route in her college journey.
"Through my work with my student organizations, I learned about the importance of community and public service," said Reyes. "Around that time, I began to explore new educational opportunities, and that's when I learned about the public administration program at UTSA. I switched over, and everything clicked for me."
In the UTSA Department of Public Administration, Reyes learned about the many facets of public service, from the work being done in government to the ins-and-outs of community and nonprofit work. Her classes also gave her an understanding of the importance of diversity in the community and the issues facing minority groups.
Reyes says that her education has given her a newer, richer understanding of herself. The UTSA College of Public Policy faculty, which included San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, instilled in her a drive to give back to her community.
Reyes will receive her diploma in December, a bachelor's degree in public administration. After graduation, she plans to volunteer for two years with the Peace Corps. Then, she'll look toward graduate school.
"We rise by lifting others," said Reyes. "I want to be there for people who may feel like they don't have a voice. UTSA helped me find that out about myself. I feel ready for the next chapter of my life."
Learn more about UTSA's first-generation family.
View more commencement spotlights at the UTSA Commencement website.
Do you know a Roadrunner who is graduating in May 2017? Share that story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Antonio area high school and undergraduate students who participated in UTSA’s TRiO Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and McNair Scholars programs will present their summer research projects and compete for top honors at the 8th annual symposium.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
This event guides seniors and graduate students on the last phase of their college career and prepares recent alumni within one year of graduation for the world of work. Workshops and sessions will provide information on interview skills, job search strategies and networking.Student Union, University Career Center, 2nd floor, Main Campus
The gala brings together UTSA alumni, friends and guests to celebrate the association's 41 years of scholarships, services, programs and the 2018 Alumni Award recipients.Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio
As part of the citywide Kidcation and the ITC's free second Sunday, kids and families will have an opportunity to interact with cowboy docents, practice their skills at roping, learn about life on the cattle drives, make their own spurs, grab a seat for cowboy story time and work on cowboy-themed hands-on crafts.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Dozens of fun and free events to welcome new and returning Roadrunners.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The kickoff to Roadrunner Days, the UTSA community welcomes the thousands of students who move in to their new homes as they begin their journey at UTSA.Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall, Main Campus