When Megan Salinas graduated from LCM High School in 2018, she had a plan for her
future; as the saying goes however, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry – especially in the face of hurricane season.
Salinas, who graduated high school a few months before Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas, said that she would not have been able to attend college if not for the support she received from LSCO and LSCO Foundation.
“Because of the flood, my dad wasn’t working, and he had to handle the house repairs himself. We didn’t have flood insurance, so all of our money went into our house. I didn’t think that I would even be able to go to school because I didn’t qualify for financial aid,” she said.
Salinas said that LSCO’s Harvey Scholarships and a particular financial aid advisor helped her find a path into the classroom.
“Mrs. Lynn Scales helped me apply for some of the late scholarships. It helped me so much by covering most of my tuition and most of my books,” she said.
Salinas went on to say that the support she received from the school also had a significant impact on her family.
“For my parents, it was probably one of their most exciting moments to learn that I was awarded a scholarship. I knew that they weren’t going to be able to help me pay for school, and that that worried them. They were very grateful,” she said.
Now, after graduating early with a degree in liberal arts, earning a cosmetology license and purchasing a small business, Salinas is continuing her education at LSCO with plans to later earn a degree in social work from Lamar University.
“When I graduated from high school, I got my cosmetology license, saved for two years and bought a small business. My mom works for Child Protective Services, so I’ve been around social work my entire life. It’s something that I’m passionate about and that I love doing, and I’ll probably spend my life doing it, just like my mom has. I really do enjoy it,” she said.
Salinas said that her mother’s work in the local community inspires her to continue working toward her dream of opening an international social-work nonprofit.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Lamar State College-Orange Foundation followed up with Taylor for a Q&A on how the pandemic has impacted her.
How has the quarantine impacted your studies at LSCO?
It has made it a little bit more challenging, but my professors have pulled together well and tried to make it as easy as possible for all of us in this chaos. I’m very much a person who excels when they’re able to take classes in person and engage with not only my professors but the bright minds of the students around me. While COVID- 19 may have halted that, it has shown me that no matter the situation, LSCO will try it’s hardest to make sure that their students succeed.
Has the pandemic impacted your plans to become social worker? If so, how?
Hopefully not. I’m not sure how this will eventually affect me, but I’m praying that there are no serious repercussions. If there were anything that would impact me, it would probably be my lack of work during this period. I’m a non-essential, self-employed worker, who has been out of work for a month now. So, that may make it more difficult for me in the long run to actually be able to transfer to LU. Hopefully, that is not the case, but whatever is meant to happen will happen.
How have you and your family adapted to the quarantine?
This situation is outright awful. I don’t want to romanticize this situation because bad things are happening to many people all over the world right now. people are suffering and that is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but I’m one of the lucky ones. It’s been terrifying not knowing what will come of the virus or if it would affect me or my family. The quarantine for me, while it has meant lots of fear and loss of work, it has given me time I didn’t have before. it has allowed me to reconnect and spend more time with my family in 30 days, than I have in YEARS. We have spent every day together. I thought we’d all eventually get sick of each other, but we’ve actually found ways to entertain each other. We have done anything and everything there is to do from countless movie nights to DIY crafts, baking, and game nights. I’m beyond lucky to have this time, and I refuse to take what I was blessed with for granted. Pandemic or not, I will cherish the bonds I’ve built with my family over this moment of chaos.