14:36 PM

Meet UHD Alumna Maria Linares

People choose to attend the University of Houston-Downtown for many reasons—courses, campus size, majors offered…but Maria Linares’ reason…frustration

“I worked full-time as a patient navigator at Houston’s The Rose, which made it very difficult to complete my degree since the community college only offered face-to-face classes,” said Maria. “I decided to attend an orientation at UHD and realized it could all be different because it offered more flexibility.”

In addition to meeting a friendly and accommodating admissions staff, she learned that UHD offered smaller class sizes, more online classes, more financial aid and flexibility. Coupled with a strong reputation, she was convinced that UHD was the best option.

She transferred to UHD the very next semester. As a student, she made use of student success programs, like the Writing & Reading Tutoring Center. Maria also appreciated the mentorship of UHD’s faculty and flourished in her studies through a “helpful and supportive atmosphere.”

This past fall, Maria graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on sociology and psychology from UHD’s University College.

And, she was able to Finish UHD Strong early thanks to financial aid.

Maria received a scholarship from Executive Women International (EWI), which allowed her to take summer courses and earn her degree a semester early. EWI is a national organization that brings together key individuals to enhance personal and professional development and encourage community involvement.

Because of the private support bestowed to her by EWI, Maria’s confidence in herself has grown and also has made her a better patient advocate on behalf women in need who come to The Rose.

As a breast cancer survivor, Maria is “committed to helping my patients negotiate the treatment process, fight breast cancer and survive.”

And, she’s already looking forward to pursuing a master’s degree.

Since graduating from UHD, the new Gator alumna has already made her first gift to the University in support of the General Scholarship Fund. She encourages all alumni to support UHD as an investment in future Gators.

“I grateful for the support I received because it’s important to pay it forward for the next generation of Gators,” Maria said.