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Part of the Family: Angie Quintero

Angie Quintero, recipient of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Scholarship, shares her story of overcoming adversity and discovering her identity while at OU

Angie Quintero

As a teenager, Angie Quintero moved from Ogden, Utah, to Norman by herself to create a better life. As a high school student, Quintero became involved with the Independent Living Services for Youth (now Bridges) program, an organization that assists students who live alone due to a family crisis. This program is designed to remove barriers to education and provide opportunities for students to learn how to support themselves.

Through ILSY, Quintero had the opportunity to meet several OU employees, many of whom helped her prepare for college entry. “When I came here, I already had a sense of family. When I think of OU, I think of family,” said Quintero. During her time at OU, Quintero has developed strong relationships with various faculty and staff. “Professor Misha Klein is like a mother to me,” she said. Quintero also cites Giovanna Gismondi, lecturer of international relations and adjunct professor of law, as a treasured mentor. The guidance and care shown by these professors have been a great encouragement to Quintero.

In her first semester as a college student, Quintero was challenged with an extra task: She had to learn how to learn. Education was not important or encouraged in her childhood home. But Quintero was motivated to study and to further her education. Impressively, she finished her first semester with a 4.0 grade-point average – a testament to her determination and diligent work ethic. Her coursework in Latin American studies, Spanish, and anthropology not only deepened her knowledge of the world, but also provided her with a sense of identity and understanding of her heritage.

Quintero will be participating in the Journey to Latin America study abroad program this summer through the OU College of International Studies. When in Brazil, Quintero will take two academic courses and be immersed in the local culture, including partaking in native dance classes and cooking classes. She will spend the 2013 fall semester in Chile to further her studies in anthropology before graduating in December.

Her participation in these programs, and her time at OU, would not have been possible without the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation Scholarship. “After my first semester, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make enough to pay for school,” she said. “My lifestyle changed when I started receiving scholarships. I was able to be more involved with school, and I had more time to study. Scholarships also improved my health; receiving assistance allowed me to work a little bit less, which allowed me to get more sleep and decrease my stress level.”

Quintero has been actively involved with Latinas Without Borders and the Hispanic American Student Association during her time at OU. She is currently researching graduate programs that focus on Latin America and leadership. Quintero hopes to work as an advocate for and protector of international human rights.

To learn more about supporting students like Angie Quintero through scholarships, click here.