MSW Student Reyna Michelle Rubio is the Proud Recipient of 2018’s Dr. Mark W. Lusk Social Justice Scholarship in Social Work
The Mark W. Lusk Social Justice Scholarship in Social Work is of significant importance for migrant and immigrant students like me. Immigrant students frequently do not qualify for many scholarship resources. As someone with limited resources, I am honored to be the recipient of this prestigious scholarship.
I come from a small family of Mexican-origin from Ciudad Juarez. From a young age, my parents talked to my brothers and me about the importance of education saying it would help us “para salir adelante” (to succeed in life). At age seven, my mother brought my brothers and me to live in the United States. At first, I wanted to go back home. My mother reminded me that living in the U.S. would bring us better opportunities and improve our quality of life.
I am a proud 2015 first-generation college graduate. My family knew that I would qualify for little to no financial or scholarship aid, so they all came together and helped me pay for my college tuition. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to attend college without their support. Like many other families, we had to endure separations, fear and the uncertainty of what the future holds.
I knew since high school that I wanted to help people. I had an elementary school teacher that helped me to discover what social work is, and that is when I decided to become a social worker. The social work values are parallel with my own. Being accepted into UTEP’s Master of Social Work (MSW) Advanced Standing program was one of the proudest moments in my life. I am growing in many different ways through graduate school. The MSW program is preparing me to be a more grounded human being and future practitioner. It is empowering to be able to give back to the community whether it is through donation, participating in rallies or marches, or volunteering for an agency that is in need of extra hands.
I am grateful and humble to be the recipient of the Mark Lusk Social Justice Scholarship because it reaffirms that I am on the right track to completing my graduate studies and becoming a licensed practitioner. I hope to serve the borderland communities and inspire other student to pursue their goals. This scholarship will help me pay my college tuition. I hope my story will inspire other students to give a special effort to contribute and give back to their community during their time at UTEP. To the donors and friends of the Social Justice Scholarship in Social Work, I thank for your generous support.