Hellen Villagrán has such a strong desire to help people, you might think she’s pursuing a health or social sciences major. But, the Tannersville, Pa., resident who as a child came to the United States from Guatemala, is pursuing a degree in International Business.
As she was trying to determine where she would study abroad - in France, Mexico, or Costa Rica - Villagrán said lending a hand is something that has always interested her, and she has found just the right blend at IUP.
“Even though I was the second person in my nuclear family to come to college, I was very unaware and lost about many things,” she said, noting that in her first semester she joined Gamma Sigma Sigma a national service sorority. “That helped me find myself, allowed me to do things that I love, and provided me with new opportunities.”
She eventually found her way to the Center for Student Success, which sponsors a Peer Mentor Program for new students who need assistance with classwork or other issues.
“Now, I let my mentees know that they are more than welcome to ask me anything without feeling embarrassed, that we do not expect them to know everything, and that’s why we are here: to help them find the answers to their questions,” Villagrán said.
Villagrán’s ultimate aspiration is to someday return to Guatemala to use her education to help aspiring entrepreneurs start their own businesses and improve their lives.