UWC graduates give back

Over the years, Rosie Lopez has been a United World College-USA Get-Away parent to more than 20 students. Now, two UWC graduates are giving back.

Daniela De Leon Juarez ‘19 of Guatemala and her country-mate Genesis Diaz Lopez, a 2019 graduate of UWC-Singapore, are cooking, cleaning and caring for Rosie at her Las Vegas, N.M., home as she recovers from a July 17 ankle replacement surgery. Other chores include laundry, taking care of two dogs and making sure Rosie takes her medications.

“I like that I can give back for how much she has given me, and I’m back at a place I can call home,” said Daniela, who was Rosie’s Get-Away during her two years at UWC-USA.

Both sophomores at Lake Forest College north of Chicago, Daniela and Genesis are taking online classes for the fall semester. They plan to return home when their country’s borders reopen.

A former educator, Rosie has volunteered as a Get-Away parent and program organizer, in addition, to volunteering in other capacities on the Montezuma campus. The 82-year-old has hosted up to five students at a time, and one student stayed for a month. She rarely misses a cultural night, concert or graduation. Rosie’s also maintained friendships with some of her Get-Away students.

When COVID-19 closed their college and the borders to Guatemala, Daniela and Genesis took the train to Las Vegas to stay with another family. Upon hearing that Rosie would need help, both girls jumped in, despite having concerns about being a caregiver.

“Usually, it’s my parents helping me,” said Genesis, 20. “If I had the responsibility to try to help them, it was something very easy.”

“I (was afraid I) might not be the right person to do it,” added Daniela, 19.

Rosie doesn’t look forward to the girls returning to Guatemala as early as next month.

“I don’t want them to go home,” Rosie joked. “It will be so lonely.”

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