Transformational Giving: When a Heritage and a Dream Become One
“I want to work with immigrants and people here in the community who can’t help themselves,” said Lupe Zuniga, a secondary education major from Waco. As a child, Lupe’s father moved from Mexico to the United States. The family, especially her father, never gave up the pursuit to live successfully in America.
“I get my ‘Don’t give up! You can do it!’ attitude from my dad.” He worked hard in school and supported himself through college to earn an engineering degree. Lupe’s mother arrived in the United States after growing up in Mexico and learned to provide for her children what she was unable to get in Mexico—a proper education.
Because of her parents’ life experiences, Lupe has a great respect for those who decide to immigrate to the United States and has learned that children who move from another country are in great need of help. She feels called to serve these children. With that realization, Lupe’s heritage and her desire to pass on the gift of education come together.
“By attending Baylor, I learn to work with immigrant children and impact this special group of people through teaching,” she said.
Lupe’s desire to teach led her to BaylorUniversity’s School of Education. After she was accepted, Lupe spent countless hours trying to find a way she could afford to attend Baylor and gain this experience. Lupe received several scholarships, including the Sharon Daly Mansfield Endowed Scholarship in Education. Ted and Sue Getterman of Waco, Texas, established this scholarship in honor of Waco ISD teacher Sharon Daly Mansfield (BA ’53), who served as a role model for their two sons. The Gettermans hoped the scholarship would assist and encourage students like Lupe who share Sharon’s calling to teach.
In her first semester, Lupe worked with a student who spoke very little English and had moved from Mexico only a week before school began. Slowly, syllable-by-syllable, Lupe inspired confidence and helped the student build a better attitude. “When we were done she couldn’t believe how far she had come, and for me to experience that kind of transformation showed me that I can teach.” Lupe acknowledges that if it were not for the gracious Baylor family she would not be able to fulfill her dream. She finds herself in awe of the blessed gift she received.
“Thanks to you, I am here!” Lupe said. “Just knowing that there are people out there willing to donate, willing to say ‘we believe in this,’ in itself is awesome!” It is inspirational. And it is transformational.
If you, too, would like to support endowed scholarships for the School of Education, please contact Carole Menefee at 254-710-2561 or at Carole_Menefee@baylor.edu.