Dariana Vasquez

Dariana Vasquez

Name: Dariana Vasquez
Age: 20
Major: Bilingual Education (EC-6) Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Class: Senior
College: College of Education and P-16 Integration
Hometown: La Feria, Texas    
High School: La Feria High School, La Feria, TX 

UTRGV is one of the most affordable universities in Texas, which is very convenient for a first-generation student like me. I was awarded grants and scholarships, and I expect to graduate debt free. UTRGV creates a welcoming environment where all cultures are embraced. They also promote student success and community engagement to inspire positive change within the institution.

What made you decide on your current major?
I decided to pursue Bilingual Elementary Education because I want to touch people’s lives, just as many educators touched mine. I received support from my bilingual teachers and learned to be proud of my heritage and my language. There were times when I felt challenged by other educators and felt less than my peers. This was why I decided to become an advocate for the next generation of emergent bilingual students.

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
My goal is to create a multicultural climate in the schools of the Rio Grande Valley that will then influence all of Texas. I plan to gain years of experience as a teacher, focusing on creating resources and instructional strategies and being part of non-profit organizations that share my teaching philosophy. I plan to continue learning about different strategies and share my knowledge with other educators. After I graduate, I plan to continue my learning journey and pursue a master's degree within my field. 

What do you like most about UTRGV?
UTRGV has different departments that provide excellent services for students. The institution provides campus employment and internship opportunities that will help students grow professionally and as a person. The university has enhanced my skills in communication, networking, teamwork, and time management.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
Being a Vaquero means being proud to wear orange and represent the university everywhere I go. I plan to carry the legacy and core values that the university instills. Being a Vaquero represents diversity and being proud to show your identity.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
UTRGV helped me get involved around campus with community service opportunities and leadership positions in student organizations. I became aware of the needs of my community and was able to participate to influence a more equitable environment.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing their degrees?
The advice I have to fellow students is to find what you are passionate about and execute it. Know that you have time to explore what the world has to offer and that you can make an impact on your community with any career you decide to pursue. Keep looking for opportunities to grow and improve yourself every day.