Andrea Vargas is one of 17 UA Little Rock students to receive the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. She earned the Just Communities of Arkansas Scholarship/Internship and will intern at Communities of Arkansas and get a scholarship.
What is your major and classification?
My major is civil engineering, and I’m a senior.
What is your hometown?
I am from Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Little Rock by my parents who are from Mexico. They immigrated here around the 1990s and settled here before I was born. I was raised in southwest Little Rock, which is predominantly a neighborhood of color. Ever since then, I’ve been determined to take my education seriously. I want to take in consideration my parents’ sacrifice for leaving their hometowns and families. I was inspired to major in civil engineering from my father who has been working construction for 15 years.
What motivated you to apply for this scholarship?
What encouraged me to apply for this scholarship is knowing that this organization exists to help students, especially first-generation students, to continue their education. I also want to give back to the community and choose a project to work on in the community. I plan on bringing another Latino organization on campus called Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. The organization will be open to other Latin students who are studying any STEM degree.
What is your plan for the scholarship?
I used it to pay the rest of my tuition and buy my books. Usually I rent textbooks, because I can’t afford to buy them. I am taking the FE exam so I need to buy them to study and prepare for the material.
What makes this scholarship so special to you?
It means a lot considering the organization it came from. It’s nice knowing that there is an organization that supports students like me. I’m really blessed to be a part of this organization and be able to meet other people through it while being involved on campus and in the community.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to work for a construction company as a project manager. Right now I am interning at CDI Contractors as an assistant estimator.
Why is Hispanic Heritage Month important? What do you do to celebrate?
Hispanic Heritage Month is great because I get to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. It’s important for people outside of our community to appreciate and learn about our culture. Latino is more than just Mexican, it’s all the Latin-American cultures that differ. Having these types of celebrations recognizes that there are other cultures with history that are just as important.
My family and I celebrate by going to festivals that are being hosted nearby who are sponsored by many small businesses around the city. I also take time to learn more about my family’s history.