Daniela learned at an early age the meaning of difficult challenges and the need to find the determination to overcome hardships. She is first generation of parents from Honduras. When she was in the 8th grade, her father was incarcerated, and her mother was forced to work two jobs, long hours, to keep the family together. Then, there were two divorces.
Throughout high school, Daniela took care of her little brother … helped him with his homework as her mother worked.
“I am that role model for my little brother by showing him that just because we do not have the privilege of having a mother and father in the same household, that is not going to stop us from not making our dreams come true,” Daniela says.
It was a difficult time, she says, with nothing to eat some evenings. She was on her own to take responsibility for everything at home.
When it came time for Daniela to get to Chicago for her college entrance interviews, she drove … for the first time ever … yet another challenge.
Now a First Generation scholar at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Daniela has earned a reputation as someone who reaches for and achieves high goals. A sophomore, she is earning top grades. She has a 3.5 GPA.
“I came here to work,” Daniela says. She carries 17 or 18 credit hours each semester, and when confronted with a difficult course, she visits professors each day with questions and for mentoring.
“My dream is to graduate college, attend law school and go into the field of international affairs, helping people in poorer countries.”
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