Roland Baez '20
Support system stretches across continents
Roland Baez's story is one that testifies to the strength of love across borders. Native to Paraguay, this international student’s journey to Whitworth University has been marked by community support every step of the way. Now a senior, he is studying political science and international studies with the hope of giving back.
Baez first heard about Whitworth through EducationUSA Opportunity Funds, a program that helped him apply to study in the United States. From there, Baez had to get resourceful about how to make his dreams a reality.
"With my family and friends, I sold homemade pizzas all over my city and had other events to fundraise the money I needed," Baez says.
That was only the beginning. When he arrived in the United States, additional support systems found Baez.
"A Paraguayan community in Seattle adopted me as a family member," he says, "and they have been helping me ever since."
At Whitworth, Baez wasted no time in pursuing his academic goals, as well as getting involved in campus life. He was a resident assistant in Arend Hall for two years and is a cultural-diversity advocate this year, working with many other international students. He is also a member of the HOLA club, which celebrates Latin American culture, and International Club.
"I wanted to be part of residence life to tell people about my roots and to educate them about my culture and traditions," Baez says. "Moreover, I wanted the international student community to feel represented in this area and to feel that they can too be leaders no matter where they come from."