Brenda Zavala-Livengood

Brenda Zavala-Livengood discovers support through multicultural organizations

“With Science Bound and Cyclone Scholars, I felt I had the support system I needed to be successful,” Brenda said.

She became involved with Science Bound in 8th grade, where they encouraged post-secondary education.  While Brenda was in high school, she interned for a professor at Iowa State University who also introduced her to Cyclone Scholars. Both of these experiences lead her to her journey at Iowa State.

“They both work closely with students one-on-one,” she said. “ISU is huge and they help make it not feel so big while also showing you resources you wouldn’t find on your own.”

Brenda said this extra support system includes tutors, study groups, research experience, resume and career fair help, and support for students who want to attend graduate school.

“They really individualize each opportunity here and help mold a path for your four years to meet your end goal,” she said.

Through both of these organizations, Brenda gains connections to professors and industry professionals. She said she is grateful for the free resources they provide, creating no barriers for students to get the extra help they need.

Brenda said having a person or group to go to for support in college is important. While for her the support is Science Bound and Cyclone Scholars, she knows not everyone will find the same connection she did. Brenda still wants to encourage students to make sure they are finding that support for themselves.

“Make a connection with someone on campus,” she said. “Whether that be an adviser, professor, or even a graduate student, go to them with your concerns. If they don’t know the answer, they can at least direct you to who will.”