Students Give Thanks: Mario Antonio Lopez-Rodriguez

Scholarship recipient: Mario Antonio Lopez-Rodriguez

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Name of scholarship(s) you have received: Allene Farris Memorial Scholarship
Current residence: Bells, Tennessee
Hometown: Bells, Tennessee
College: Loewenberg School of Nursing – Lambuth Campus
2014-2015 Classification: Junior
Year Graduating: 2016

 

 

Why did you choose University of Memphis?
I chose the University of Memphis because it gave me everything I looked for in a university. It was close to home, has a great academic reputation, and was not insanely expensive.

What is unique about you? How are you different from other students at UofM?
One characteristic about me that separates me from the rest is that most of my decisions have been made because of my desire to help others. All organizations I am involved have a common task and that is that they help others in different ways. I do not aim to be a superhero, but I do try to do everything possible to help anyone needing it.

Describe any extra-curricular or community service efforts. What personal impact have they had on you?
The spring semester of my freshman year I decided to volunteer at the HUB Club. The organization's name stands for Helping Us Build and I was in favor of everything it stood for. The HUB takes kids K-12th grade and gives them a safe atmosphere where they can learn and play. The first day I was there I was assigned a fourth grader, and I learned so much from the few hours I spent with him. I learned to see the things we had in common and I learned to further appreciate people with different experiences than my own. I enjoy every minute I spend with him and the other kids, and I am amazed that although they have lived through traumatic situations they still have the capacity to smile and have fun.

What has your college experience been like so far?
My college experience truly did not begin until the spring semester of my freshman year. I was not involved and did not talk to many people my fall semester and I did not have the time I thought I would have entering college. However, being involved in all the organizations both inside and outside of school have made all the difference in my college experience. I am especially passionate about the Multicultural Student Association because I greatly admire diversity. I have had great and joyous experiences with all the professors and staff here at the UofM, and I plan to continue being involved and motivating others to do the same.

What are your plans after graduation?
After I receive my bachelors of science in nursing, I plan to either start my career as an RN or look at going into graduate school. If I decide to start my career then I will seek the opportunity to work in a setting that cares for kids.

If you were to meet your donor in person, how would you describe what receiving a donor-funded scholarship means to you?
This privately-funded scholarship has given me the opportunity to further my education without the worries of the high cost of a college education. It has meant the difference between having to find a job to pay for my school expenses and spending that time to study and focus on my academics.