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Jennifer Galaviz

Running for a Purpose: How Diploma Dash is Changing Lives

Every year over a thousand people put on their running shoes and head to Diploma Dash, an annual 5K race held at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Proceeds from the race generate scholarships for dozens of UTSA college students including Jennifer Galaviz.

Jennifer Galaviz, 25, is pursuing a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling at UTSA. In between classes, an internship and a part-time job, this first-generation college student is helping her fellow classmates navigate graduate school.

"I encourage students to engage in the graduate community and not only take advantages of the opportunities offered to them, but contribute back and be the change they want to see to make UTSA a better place," said Galaviz, who is vice president of the Graduate Student Association.

A San Antonio native, Galaviz was salutatorian of her high school class before attending Williams College in Massachusetts. After graduating with a double major in psychology and biology, she returned to her hometown to pursue a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at UTSA. "My future goals involve seeking a career in the mental health field to promote the healthy, social, emotional, and relational functioning of the San Antonio community.”

In her short time at UTSA, Galaviz has quickly become involved on campus. She is a student assistant in the registrar office and interns with the UTSA Career Center. It is her active involvement on campus that landed her two scholarships, the Valero Energy Corporation Endowed Scholarship and the Alumni Association Scholarship.

"Scholarships give me the ability to be financially stress free. They allow me more time to dedicate myself to helping others," said Galaviz, who is expected to graduate fall 2018. “Being a recipient of the UTSA Alumni Association Scholarship has greatly impacted my life in so many ways. It means a lot to me knowing that we have the support of individuals such as donors— their support is helping me reach my higher educational goals."

For more information visit utsadiplomadash.org.

-Yvonne Zamora Byrd