If you were to visit the front desk in the International Department, or stroll the halls of the McKay Education building, you might run into Wilma de Molina. Originally from Caracas Venezuela, she is the only girl of 7 children and has a passion for dancing. Wilma is here with her husband and two sons, and is currently studying elementary education. Her UVU journey began when she and her family came to Utah in search of a good university. Wilma herself had previously attended a private college in Venezuela. She studied special education with an emphasis in reading and writing.
During that time, getting an education in her country was great. Now, she says, it’s not so great. “That’s the problem right now in our country,” de Molina said. “It’s hard to cover the expenses of universities. In fact, our best university in Venezuela right now has problems with their budget because the government says ‘no money’if the student council is the political opposition.”the Medina de Molina’s wanted to make life easier for their family to receive good education, so they packed their bags and came to Utah.
When her son began studying at UVU 2009, Wilma and her husband were always at the school and helped out wherever they could. They were volunteer parents in the International Department and tried to be as involved in activities as possible.
One year later, Wilma and her other son were enrolled and attended UVU.
Wilma says that they spend so much time at the school that they call themselves the UVU family. She very much enjoys attending UVU, and says that once she graduates with her teaching degree, she wants to be a Spanish-immersion teacher. She would love to teach children about the Latino culture and have them experience things that she loves. There are some things she misses about her home and culture.
“One thing that’s different is the food. I don’t really like the food! For example, the people here have a lunch that is a sandwich or maybe some soup. In Venezuela the lunch is very, very big. Another thing is music—we miss lots of Latino music, salsa, bachata, and there is not a lot here,” de Molina said.
Wilma and her son said that their kind of dance party ends at about 3 am. She was very happy last weekend though, as she was able to go dance the night away at the Bachata Fest. Wilma also misses the beautiful beaches only an hour drive from her home, her group of friends who would get together every weekend, and her family of nine.
“I do miss my home and my family, but I don’t feel too different at UVU from my country because it’ s happy. I feel happy here,” says de Molina Wilma’s proudest accomplishment is her family. “I always say my family is my business, because we work together and are always together. My sons are good son’s; I’ve been married for 26 years. I think I have a successful family,” de Molina said.