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Guadalupe “Lupe” Diaz: Focusing on school readiness for Latino children

First generation college graduate Lupe Diaz starts a master's program this fall.

First generation college graduate Lupe Diaz starts a master’s program this fall.

Guadalupe “Lupe” Diaz, a child of immigrant parents says, “My father was a migrant worker and we moved from Mexico to Milton-Freewater when I was eleven. My parents always emphasized the importance of education, of reading, of studying hard. And they taught me to dream.”

When Lupe received her diploma on June 13th, she became the first in her family of four children with a college education. And she’s not stopping there. This fall she’ll start a master’s program in human development and family sciences and she plans some day to earn her PhD. She’ll focus her research on the struggles that young Latina/o students have with their school readiness.

“I want to work with Latina/o children and create programs that prepare them for school and expand their opportunities to go on to a higher education.” Lupe says that associate professor Megan McClelland inspired her to go into the field of child development and has been a valued mentor in her research.

Her ultimate goal is to be a good role model for her three-year-old daughter Lucero, to show her that education is critical to her success and that dreaming does determine your fate. As she graduates, Lupe says, “Once you go on, don’t forget where you came from. It’s easy to forget our roots and our struggles while we’re in school. We need to go back, help our communities, help those following in our foot steps.”

Lupe visited OSU’s Kaleidoscope programs as a high school junior and saw what she liked. After graduating with honors from McLoughlin High School in 2004, she entered CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) for her first year then went to be part of EOP, the Educational Opportunities Program that supports first generation college students among others.

As an intern in OSU’s Sea Grant Program, Lupe found a caring mentor in Dr. Samuel Chan, and last year, she went to Taiwan as part of a study abroad program with Professor Sharon Rosenkoetter. This summer, she’ll serve as liaison for 25 interns and sponsors in the PROMISE internship program (Professional Managerial Internships in State Employment Program) on campus.