Neither a pandemic nor major illness slowed Daisy Mendez ’24 on her college journey.

A transfer student who arrived at LVC in Fall 2022, Mendez is one step closer to becoming an elementary teacher and inspiring the next generation of young learners.

“My elementary school teachers really supported me because school was hard at first. My parents couldn’t help with homework or other things due to the language barrier, and I was just barely getting ahold of the language myself,” said Mendez, who was born in Mexico and moved to the United States at an early age.

“You could tell the teachers loved their jobs and cared about their students. That made me want to be a teacher, too,” she said.

Mendez received her associate degree from Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and became the first recipient of LVC’s new full-tuition scholarship for a HACC graduate.

“The new scholarship cleared a roadblock in my educational journey. After graduating from HACC, I was concerned about where I would be able to afford to transfer to and finish my degree. It is a blessing that LVC is offering this scholarship to HACC graduates, who work hard and have a goal in mind but don’t always have the financial means to achieve it.”

Like LVC’s supportive environment, Mendez said HACC did an excellent job facilitating the transition between high school and college.

“Overall, HACC was a great first step for me—to stay close to home and get started on my college journey,” she said. “HACC has resources to help their students, including a writing/tutoring center with peer and staff mentors who are always there when you have a question or need help studying. HACC fulfilled most of my general education requirements, making the transition much smoother in terms of transferring credits.”

While the pandemic threw Mendez a curveball during her HACC studies, her doctor simultaneously pitched in some bad news—she was diagnosed with Classical Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mendez considered dropping out of school.

“Since classes were already online due to the pandemic, I figured I’d continue as much as possible,” she said. “My schoolwork gave me something else to focus on and work toward other than completing my treatments and recovering.”

Mendez finished her treatment in time to attend her HACC graduation and is ready for a more traditional college experience of a four-year college, including meeting new people and getting involved on campus.

“The LVC staff I met during the application process strived to meet my needs and address my concerns,” said Mendez. “Numerous people have offered their support throughout my educational journey. My family and friends, who have been by my side through the good and the bad and uplifted me through it all. Many of my teachers have been mentors with their advice and for inspiring me countless times. Of course, the people who helped me when I applied to LVC, Mr. Ed Wright [vice president of enrollment management] and Mr. Scott Myers [associate director of admission], who guided me with their generosity and kindness. This made me feel welcome and wanted at LVC. It is clear that LVC has the best intentions for their students.”