Anyone meeting bright and bubbly Rockhurst senior, Liliana Reyes, would be hard pressed to believe that she is only 19 years old. With a projected graduation date of Spring 2021, there is much to learn and understand about the girl who fast tracked her way through the academic world that so many students can struggle to grasp and maintain a positive interaction with.
She carries herself unlike any other. Her quick wit, bright eyes, intensive comprehension level, and understanding air engulf the space around her, making it all the more difficult for her peers to believe that she wouldn’t be able to get into any local bar. “She is always answering questions in class and helps a lot with group work.” said Mona Deister, a fellow Rockhurst student. “She always has a positive tone and is helpful to her peers too!” Displaying characteristics that some of her older counterparts still struggle with is one of the magical ways that Reyes carries the light of her young age with the maturity of an experienced academic counterpart.
Having completed college courses at Penn Valley and Metropolitan Community College Reyes acknowledges the experience and its influence on her manner, “I know it made me grow up in some ways, time management, exposure to so many different people- it was so diverse…Whether it was age or race, everything I learned made me realize that stuff does get in the way of life and that’s okay”.
Whether she is walking into a classroom or passing by on campus, you are sure to get a goofy greeting of raised eyebrows or physical approaches that are sure to bring a smile to your face. Her incredible person is also coated in humbleness for her success as a student, “I don’t like to talk about myself too much…I don’t really think it’s something to brag about, I’m just doing it for me and my family” said Reyes.
Furthermore, she credits her high school, Lincoln College Preparatory, for the expediency of her introduction to college, “… they offered International Baccalaureate courses or early college programs- meaning I could do my first and second year of college during my junior and senior years of high school…essentially, my college credits rolled back into high school credits and to future college credits as well”.
The level of support and encouragement she encountered was varied from friends who would ask her things like, “why are you doing that?” to figures like her swim coach whom she remembers unconditionally encouraging her. “He understood I was doing something difficult and not done by many but he reminded me that I made the right decision, it would be worth it in the end, and that I was capable of completing the challenges of school” said Reyes. “My parents were always there (as well), but since my mom never went to college, she didn’t understand how difficult it could be, so she really was my emotional support”.
Having academic and emotional support covered it is easy to see how these encouragements have woven their way into Liliana’s character, “I love how passionate she is about everything she does…she’s very strong willed, and it has influenced and motivated me to decide to do better things and to think before I do them” said close friend, Mireira Valles.
This type of influence is greatly needed and deeply appreciated and valued. With grace, humility, honor, and love in her heart, it is exemplified beyond reason that the world should be just as excited for Liliana Reyes, as she is for it.
Edited by Micaela Gutierrez