Monday, December 10, 2018

Running for a purpose: How Diploma Dash is changing lives

Running for a purpose: How Diploma Dash is changing lives

UTSA graduate student Jennifer Galaviz receives support from two scholarships.

(Feb. 19, 2018) -- Every year, hundreds of people put on their running shoes and head to Diploma Dash, an annual 5K race held at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Proceeds from the race generate scholarships for dozens of UTSA college students, including Jennifer Galaviz.

Galaviz is pursuing a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling at UTSA. In between classes, an internship and a part-time job, this first-generation college student is helping her fellow classmates navigate graduate school.

"I encourage students to engage in the graduate community and not only take advantages of the opportunities offered to them, but contribute back and be the change they want to see to make UTSA a better place," said Galaviz, who is vice president of the Graduate Student Association.

A San Antonio native, Galaviz was salutatorian of her high school class before attending Williams College in Massachusetts. After graduating with a double major in psychology and biology, she returned to her hometown to pursue a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at UTSA.

"My future goals involve seeking a career in the mental health field to promote the healthy, social, emotional, and relational functioning of the San Antonio community,” said Galaviz.

In her short time at UTSA, Galaviz has quickly become involved on campus. She is a student assistant in the registrar office and interns with the UTSA Career Center. It is her active involvement on campus that helped her earn two scholarships, the Valero Energy Corporation Endowed Scholarship and the Alumni Association Scholarship.

"Scholarships give me the ability to be financially stress free. They allow me more time to dedicate myself to helping others," said Galaviz, who is on track to graduate this fall. “Being a recipient of the UTSA Alumni Association Scholarship has greatly impacted my life in so many ways. It means a lot to me knowing that we have the support of individuals such as donors— their support is helping me reach my higher educational goals."

Diploma Dash will take place at 8 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 24. It’s open to runners, walkers, families and pet owners. Registration for the event is $15 for current UTSA students, $35 for adults, $25 for UTSA Alumni Association members and $15 for children under 18. Medals with be awarded for the top three finishers in each age category.

- Yvonne Zamora Byrd

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