St. Mary's University – Maria Belen Cervera grew up in a tight knit family. It was herself, her mom and grandparents. When it came time to move away for college, Cervera knew she wanted something that felt like home.
“I got here on campus and I felt this sense of belonging,” Cervera said.
Cervera grew up in a loving household, but she said they were low income. Since money was scarce, Cervera knew she needed to do well in school, if she wanted to go to college.
“Once you break through, it’s a lot easier and it’s a way to show people, hey, you can do it, too,” Cervera said.
After starting her freshman year at St. Mary’s University, Cevera wasted no time getting involved in extracurricular activities and organizations on campus.
She worked as a work study in the Political Science Department. She also worked on the undergraduate mock trial team, was part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and was the president’s ambassador.
“I wouldn’t get those opportunities to talk to people on a deeper level without those extracurriculars,” Cervera said.
Now that she is a graduate, Cervera will be going back home for a bit. She got a job working with a program called ProBar. They are part of the American Bar Association.
“This program helps people seeking asylum. We help them learn their rights and look at legal advice,” Cervera said.
Cervera believes political science is one way she can make her voice heard and help those who can’t get the representation they need.
Cervera isn’t sure how long she will stay in Brownsville, but at some point she does want to come back to St. Mary’s to go to their law school.