Born in Peru and raised in Utah since age 11, Brenda Rivera learned to love and serve the people of Houston, Texas, as a Spanish- speaking missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I feel like the main thing I learned is that everything is centered in Jesus Christ,” says Brenda. “We work, we go to school, and we gain knowledge, so we can be able to return to Him with that knowledge in the life after this.”
In fact, her love for the people of Houston is so strong that, after returning home from her mission, only five months before the massive floods of 2017, she felt strongly the need to help when disaster struck. Putting everything else on hold, Brenda and a few former mission companions returned to Houston for a couple of weeks to help the people she loved along their road to recovery.
After returning home, Brenda felt prompted to pursue the education needed to become a paralegal. “I want to be able to help people in need when they’re dealing with medical claims and insurance companies,” she says. Her bishop told her about LDS Business College’s paralegal program and the financial aid available for returned missionaries. “It was definitely an answer to prayer when a way was made possible for me to go school,” she says.
Because she comes from a family in which neither parent received a high school degree, Brenda’s attending college is groundbreaking. “With my family’s financial situation, I wouldn’t be able to attend if it weren’t for this scholarship,” she says. “Having this scholarship has helped me accomplish not just my dream but my parents’ dreams as well.”
Of the students at LDSBC, 45 percent are recently returned missionaries like Brenda, and many of them are only able to attend school because of scholarships.
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