Mary Lou Reyes
It seems as though every family has a set of core values that they uphold and pass down to future generations. For my family, it was traditionalism. Growing up, my household was very traditional. My mother took on the role as the homemaker while my father went out and worked to provide for our family. Furthermore, my sisters and I were conditioned to always act like a “lady” and to live a good Catholic life. This included consistently attending church, praying every morning, meal, and night, as well as holding ourselves virtuously.
In accordance with the Lord and my family, I did exactly that. I grew up to have a very traditional lifestyle. I married my high school sweetheart, gave birth to my beautiful daughter, and followed every step that I had seen the women in my family take. Unfortunately, this was not the path the Lord intended and I knew deep down that I was destined to be more than just a homemaker. Going forward, I had to set a new example of how a woman should act so I could teach my daughter to not limit herself to the traditional values that were once set in stone within my family. At this point, I decided to go beyond these traditional expectations and expand my education. Not only did I obtain several certifications and my Associate’s degree, I also earned my Bachelor’s degree in Justice Administration at Wayland Baptist University.
As a newly divorced, single mother I had to work twice as hard as those around me. Unlike younger students, I did not have the time or leniency to make mistakes or slack off. I had to pay extra attention, ask all the right questions, and work nonstop in order to ensure my success as a nontraditional student. Here is where I saw my once very traditional lifestyle shift into a nontraditional one. Ultimately, I knew the road ahead would not be a smooth ride, but rather the most challenging adventure of my life.
After 25 years of experience in the legal field, I realized something is missing. My law degree! While working as a Legal Secretary and Paralegal for several law firms, I discovered that I want to do more. Not only do I want to show my daughter that anything is possible regardless of the circumstances, I want to be the fighting voice of those who cannot help themselves. Unfortunately, the field of law is difficult to interpret and not everyone has the means of doing so. With that said, I plan to use my law degree to fight for justice and provide assistance to those who need it most.
As a nontraditional student, I strongly believe I would bring an interesting perspective to Texas Tech University School of Law. Not only would I act as living proof that there is no age limit or timeline when it comes to success, I would show other Latina women that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard. Through this prestigious law school, I hope to continue to stray away from a traditional lifestyle, set an example for my beautiful daughter, and achieve my dreams of becoming a lawyer so I can give back to the community.