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Doing Something Different

Jan 2021

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Laura Calvillo, a project management student, and cashier at Ensign College, never planned on attending college while growing up in San Diego, California. She expected to find a job and slowly work her way up over the years, as this was the standard for high school graduates in her community. “But then I attended a youth activity with my ward where a speaker came to talk to us about Church-sponsored schools and that’s when I heard about Ensign College,” she said.

Laura expressed how “Ensign College was the only real opportunity I had to go to school, given that no one in my family had gone to college and that money was an issue. This was the first time in my life that I felt like I had a chance to do something different. With the help of scholarships and the community at Ensign College, I actually see myself finishing my associate degree and going on to one of the bachelor’s degrees.”

After taking a few classes at Ensign College and dreaming up new plans for her future, Laura realized the significance of what she is doing now. “Getting this degree is a huge deal. I’m the first one to break the cycle in my family. If I can do it, that means there is an opportunity for my future family to get an education too. So now, what has been considered tradition is now different and better than it has been.”

Though she is still exploring the possibilities her degree will give her, Laura feels that Ensign College has strengthened her skills to be able pursue whatever career she chooses. “Ensign College has given me confidence to know that whatever I decide to do, I’ll be able to do it. I learned how to learn. The academic material is important, but Ensign College has taught me other skills like discipline, problem-solving, time-management, and being responsible. For first-generation students, it’s a big deal to be in an environment where you’re being encouraged, spiritually nourished, and supported to succeed.”

Laura is one of many students who is now able to get an education because of the generosity of donors. “I understand that it’s a sacrifice for those who give to the school, but I hope they see that the reward is so much bigger. You are supporting not only the student, but the blessings extend to their family, friends, and community. The people who donate are giving students a chance to succeed when it seems impossible for them. You’re investing in someone who appreciates your support and is going to make it worth it.”