By Gabriela Cavazos
SAN ANTONIO—As the fall 2015 semester rolls to a close, graduating seniors reminisce about the highs and lows of their college experience. For one graduating senior, graduation means new adventures and possibilities.
Stephanie Gutierrez, an early childhood education major, chose Our Lady of the Lake University to supply her with the necessary foundations to make her goals and dreams a reality. With the help of an academic scholarship, the decision to commit was almost instant.
“Upon visiting the campus I found the people friendly and the campus was too beautiful to pass up,” Gutierrez said. “When I found out that OLLU had a softball team, it made it clearer and much easier to commit.I played softball here for two years until I made a difficult decision to put it aside to concentrate on my studies for my last year here.”
Throughout her college career she took many courses that have impacted and guided her to her ultimate goal. However, Gutierrez has one course on the top of her list, through which she made many great memories.
“One of my favorite courses that I took was one of my education courses called Creative Expressions,” she said. “We came up with fun interactive activities and centers that we could have in our classrooms. It allowed us to be kids again and actually go through the motions and emotions of a young child. It was a lot of fun being able to tap into your inner-child.”
Many OLLU students might recognize Gutierrez as the ‘cool cashier that works at the C-Store,’ but her talents go way further than scanning food items. She is a self-taught guitar player thanks to the help of YouTube videos, and has a secret niche for rapping.
“When I hear a good song on the radio and I’m with friends, I like to spontaneously rap whatever comes to mind,” Gutierrez said. “I try to get my friends to do it with me, but they don’t budge so I end up rapping alone. I like to think I’m pretty good… well sometimes,” she added laughing.
Gutierrez has enjoyed The Lake to the fullest with memories that she will carry for the long road.
“I cherish the friends and memories that I have made when I participated on my very first ‘Awakening’ retreat, the sisterhood that I was a part of while on the softball team, and all the incredible memories that I made with my roommate, closest friends, and co-worker from the C-Store,” Gutierrez said. “I will forever cherish and hold every memory that I have made and shared with each and every one of them.”
Gutierrez hopes to use her talents in a foreign country.
“My goal in life is to travel the world, and I’m extremely passionate about children,” Gutierrez said. “I would love to teach children that live in other countries. That would allow me to travel and do what I love, and that is teaching children.”
Her short-term goal is to become certified to teach young children in the State of Texas and leave a positive impact.
“I want to change the lives of our youth for the better and show them that anything is possible,” Gutierrez said. “I truly just want to make a difference in a person’s life.”