Higher education helps the Peres family realize the American dream – UNK News

Juana Perez and her parents Lorenzo and Flora pose for a photo with UNK Office of Student and Family Transitions Assistant Director Kelly Tuttle Krahling, left, and UNK Parent and Family Association Chairperson Terri Lovitt, right. The Perez family was recognized as the UNK Family of the Year. (Photo by Erika Pritchard, UNK Communications)


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Joanna Perez, entrance place, and her household have been acknowledged Saturday as Household of the 12 months by UNK Dad and mom and Household and the Pupil and Household Transitions Workplace. (Photograph by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)

On Saturday, they had been acknowledged as UNK Household of the 12 months


Written by Tyler Ellison
UNK Communications

Kearney – Myra Lara turns into emotional when she talks about her mother and father, Lorenzo and Flora Perez, and the sacrifices they made for his or her household.

“Being the eldest, I grew up seeing my mother and father struggling financially,” stated Mayra, one of many couple’s 5 kids.

Lorenzo and Flora by no means had an opportunity to attend faculty. In actual fact, neither has made it previous sixth grade of their native Mexico, the place it isn’t unusual for guide labor to interchange studying within the pre-high college classroom.

“They labored exhausting to assist their mother and father and assist their siblings,” Mayra stated.

That did not change once they immigrated to the US at a younger age. Lorenzo took the step first, at age 18, and Flora adopted after the couple married in 1990. They lived in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Colorado earlier than settling in Menatari, the place the 5 kids had been raised.

Though each had regular jobs – in building and housekeeping – the couple wished one thing extra for his or her kids. They understand that schooling could make this occur.

stated Myra, who took a step ahead to turn into the primary in her household to attend faculty.

She spent one 12 months at Western Nebraska Group School, then transferred to the College of Nebraska at Kearney, the place her boyfriend and future husband, Alfredo Lara, was finding out. construction management. Mayra obtained the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarshipwhich made the transition to UNK simpler.

“Truthfully, if I did not have that scholarship, I would not go to Kearney,” she stated. “There was no manner my mother and father might pay my college given the truth that they’d 4 different kids that they needed to assist.”

Along with monetary help, Mayra selected UNK as a result of the situation and dimension of the campus allowed her to have a real faculty expertise whereas staying near her mother and father and siblings. I’ve made lifelong buddies by taking part within the multicultural Lambda Theta Nu Membership.

“It is like your loved ones aside from household,” Mayra stated of UNK. “I met buddies in faculty who had been at our wedding ceremony. Although they reside in Omaha or reside in different states, we nonetheless talk.”

Mayra graduated from UNK in Might 2016 with a Bachelor’s diploma in Spanish translation and simultaneous translation and a minor in Public Health. She additionally obtained a level from the College of Nebraska Medical Middle Faculty of Nursing in Scottsbluff and presently works as a bilingual registered nurse. Alfredo graduated from UNK in December 2012 and works as a concrete specialist. The couple lives in Minatari with their daughters, aged 2 and 4, and expect a child boy in December.

“I need my kids to develop up figuring out how necessary schooling is,” Mayra stated. “I do not care what they wish to do. I do not care what they go to high school for, so long as it is one thing they actually take pleasure in.”

Joanna Perez and her parents Lorenzo and Flora pose for a photo with UNK Associate Director of Student and Family Transition Kelly Tuttle-Krahling, left, and UNK Parents and Family Association President Terry Lovett, right.  The Perez family has been recognized as the UNK Family of the Year.  (Photo by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)
Joanna Perez and her mother and father Lorenzo and Flora pose for a photograph with UNK Affiliate Director of Pupil and Household Transition Kelly Tuttle-Krahling, left, and UNK Dad and mom and Household Affiliation President Terry Lovett, proper. The Perez household has been acknowledged because the UNK Household of the 12 months. (Photograph by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)

Paving the best way to success

This message has already unfold to different members of the Perez household. Miriam, Yovan, and Joanna Perez have adopted of their older sister’s footsteps by turning into Lubbers, and youthful brother Jimena, an eighth-grader at Menatari Public Faculties, talks about attending UNK.

Myriam has a level in Business Management From UNK in Spring 2020 and now working as a private banker. Yovan, an authorized private coach, graduated in the summertime of 2021 with a level in science practice. Juana is presently finding out as a freshman psychology Interpretation and interpretation.

“My older siblings paved the best way for me to return to UNK,” Joanna stated. “I felt so snug coming right here and my mother and father love the Kearney group and actually belief UNK to assist make their youngsters profitable in so some ways.”

UNK’s assist for first-generation college students was one other promoting level. Joanna is a part of a campus committee that focuses on first technology initiatives and is energetic in Student Diversity and Inclusion Office (ODI).

“They make you’re feeling welcome there and expose you to so many issues. It’s very easy to get entangled and make connections,” she stated of ODI. “That is the place I discovered to tackle management roles.”

Joanna volunteers with TeamMates Mentoring and works as a treasurer for Spanish membership UNK. She can also be a college assistant Learning Society for Thomson Scholars, a community of scholars, workers, and college that gives tutorial and social assist, fosters engagement on campus and offers alternatives for skilled improvement. It’s obtainable to all Susan Thompson Buffett Basis scholarship recipients.

“This studying group is like gold. They set you up for immediate success,” Joanna stated. “They assist college students develop a plan for studying and progress and so they actually assist and care about you.”

With a Buffett Scholarship and Variety Service Scholarship via ODI, Juana will graduate with out debt in Spring 2024. She plans to enter graduate college to turn into a bilingual psychological well being counselor.

“UNK proved to my mother and father that their American dream was for his or her kids to make one thing for themselves,” Joanna stated. “Schooling is a core worth in our household as a result of getting the next schooling will change our household for generations.”

From left, siblings Jimena Perez, Juana Perez, Yovan Perez, Miriam Perez and Myra Lara pose for a photo during a family trip to Mexico.  (photo courtesy)
From left, siblings Jimena Perez, Juana Perez, Yovan Perez, Miriam Perez and Myra Lara pose for a photograph throughout a household journey to Mexico. (photograph courtesy)
UNK junior Juana Perez is pictured with her parents Lorenzo and Flora and younger sister Jimena during Saturday's homecoming parade in downtown Kearney.  (Photo by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)
UNK junior Juana Perez is pictured along with her mother and father Lorenzo and Flora and youthful sister Jimena throughout Saturday’s homecoming parade in downtown Kearney. (Photograph by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)




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