COLLEGE STATION, April 28, 2015 -- When she graduates from Texas A&M University next month, Evelyn Saldivar, an Allied Health senior within the Department of Health and Kinesiology, will likely have seen more of the world than most of her fellow grads.
During her four years as an undergraduate, Saldivar, a first-generation student from the Valley in South Texas, took advantage of the opportunity to visit over 11 countries, including countries in South America, Europe, Central America and China. Saldivar was able to travel across the world, all expenses paid, through receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship, a grant that recognizes extraordinary students who come from groups that have been traditionally and historically denied access to higher education, as well as the Regents Scholarship, an award designed to assist first-generation college students.
“Traveling to several countries of Europe, Central America and South America has increased my wisdom and ability to keep an open mind,” she says. “Being able to travel abroad while staying involved with several organizations has helped me shape my long-term goals.”
Saldivar recognizes two individuals, Suzanne Sealy and Casey Schumacher, as playing an integral role in her success and motivation during her undergraduate journey. Saldivar says that Sealey was the first person who challenged her to step out of her comfort zone, open up the opportunity to travel and provide her with the wise words she says she always needed to take that first step. As Saldivar’s academic advisor, Schumacher was able to provide her with both the academic and moral support she needed to overcome the obstacles she didn’t believe she could face otherwise.
Upon graduation, Saldivar will pursue a master’s degree to become a physician assistant (PA). Additionally, she has applied to become a middle school teacher at IDEA Public Schools for the time during the PA application process.
“During my time at Texas A&M,” she says, “I have learned to overcome any obstacle with determination, hard work, faith and positivity.”