Loras College - Help friends

With a little help from her friends

Graduation is in sight thanks to support from fellow Duhawks

For Brenda Gomez (’19), who was born in Mexico and raised in Georgia, attending Loras College was a significant cultural change. In fact, even finding a college was something different altogether.

“I did my college search on Google because I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time,” she laughed.

Moving to Dyersville, Iowa, after graduating high school, Gomez applied to Loras, Clarke University and the University of Dubuque, and was accepted at all three.

“I visited Loras once and really liked it. I looked at other schools but, knowing I wanted to pursue a degree in Spanish, I visited Loras a second time. I came back a third time to reassure myself that this is where I wanted to be.”

Gomez is majoring in Spanish and sociology with a minor in public relations. Her initial semester as a student was difficult, but it was the Loras community that helped her adjust.

“My first semester, I missed home and it was a culture shock,” she explained. “Coming from Georgia, it just isn’t as diverse, so I wasn’t the best student because I was having trouble handling it. Once I started meeting people, I found a good support system to help get me focused on school and change my outlook. I had people really looking out for me.”

“After that first semester, I had the realization that fellow students and faculty were helping me to get my education and I wasn’t doing my part. That support helped get me straightened out, and it has continued.”

And that support is something Gomez sees everywhere.

“Everyone says Loras is a tight-knit community, but I have lived it,so I know it’s true. Duhawks really do help Duhawks.

As a student, Gomez has been involved in the Intercultural Programs Office and has also been a mentor for Modes of Inquiry (MOI). In her final year at Loras, she is working as an intern in the Admission Office. All those experiences are helping her to work toward her career goal of helping
low-income families navigate higher education.

“Eventually, I want to help bridge the gap within the education system. For a lot of low-income families, it is hard for them to the know what is out there because they don’t have the resources. I want to be someone who works with them to provide the help they need.”

Ultimately, that third visit to Loras as a prospective student was the right move.

“It’s been a good four years for me.”