Lourdes Lizett Melgarejo

Lourdes Lizett Melgarejo

Name Lourdes Lizett Melgarejo
Age: 21
Major: English Education with an ESL endorsement
Hometown: Laredo, Texas 

UTRGV represents my roots, my traditions, and my culture. It has evolved and grown so much in the past few years, and I wanted to be part of that evolution. From Pan American, to UTPA, to UTRGV, my university represents me and my community by demonstrating how we always push ourselves toward improvement. 

What made you decide on your current major?
The teachers that I’ve been fortunate to learn from throughout my academic journey inspired my involvement in education; where I can inspire, encourage, and advocate for what I believe in. Special thanks to Dr. Amy Cummins, Dr. Alyssa Cavazos, Dr. Maria Reyes, and Stefanie Herweck from UTRGV, and my current mentor teacher and former English teacher, Mrs. Estela Salinas from Sharyland High School, for always challenging me and maintaining high expectations. 

What are your plans after graduation?
My ultimate goal is to acquire a Ph.D. in education and integrate myself into the political world. Eventually, I hope to become the secretary of education since my hunger for innovation, excellence, and justice will never be sufficed. However, I’m aware that such a title is not simply given, but earned. Thus, I am currently a member of a nonprofit organization called Breakthrough Collaborative, which focuses on supporting students with low-socioeconomic backgrounds and providing them with the opportunity to receive a high-quality education and guidance toward college graduation. First, I must experience teaching firsthand before making decisions for the educational system. 

What are you involved in on and off campus?
My most recent involvement on campus was my undergraduate research on translingualism with the SMART program. We did not only get to discover more about our language but also how our culture highly influences our speech. I was also a member of Americorps UTRGV, where members are trained to aid high school seniors in the college application process, such as testing and financial aid. 

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I’ve received multiple awards from honor roll to the President’s List. Nonetheless, the most significant accomplishment that has filled my heart with joy were the words of gratitude from my students – “Thank you for believing in me and inspiring me, I learned so much from you.” The sleepless nights of studying and working finally paid off. However, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my mom, Briza Gutierrez, and my dad, Javier Melgarejo. 

What advice do you have for future students?
Challenge yourself. Nothing in life is given, you must work hard to earn it. If you don’t have the will to become a better version of yourself, then nobody else will. It’s OK to fail, in fact I encourage everyone to take risks and make mistakes, because that’s what shapes us in becoming who we are today. You also learn more by making mistakes than by observing everybody else succeed.