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Last updated: 2005
At the age of 13, Mayra Campos, who hadn’t seen her mother in seven years, was finally able to reunite with her family here in the United States, following a long journey from El Salvador filled with peril and hunger. Mayra says: “My small body was tired, but my mind wasn’t. I kept a positive attitude and promised myself that I was not going to waste any minute of my life.”
Mayra, an industrious young woman, contributes to her family’s income by working nights and weekends at a retail store. She also helps look after her younger sister, and tries to save what little money she can for college. Although Mayra’s responsibilities at home and at work are considerable, she has kept her positive attitude and that promise she made to herself, maintaining a 3.7 grade point average with a rigorous college-prep course load, volunteering to help the homeless and organizing community service activities, and never losing sight of her next goal: to graduate with a degree in psychology and continue her life helping others.
Erica Rosales, Assistant Principal at Animo Leadership Charter High describes Mayra as “one of the most talented students at Animo… Mayra excels because she puts forth her best effort. She is at the top of her class because of her persistence and determination. Mayra has a strong sense of self, maturity and confidence that will undoubtedly award her many more successes in the future.”
The Children’s Defense Fund is inspired by Mayra’s exemplary leadership and determination to achieve her dreams, and is proud to award her a 2005 Beat the Odds® Scholarship.