A brighter future

Freshman breaks through barriers for an education rooted in faith.



Samantha Gassaway, Writer

Her parents wanted to give her a better life and the space necessary to make her a better person. Biola offered her an opportunity like no other: an education supported by faith in Christ.

A Better Future

Jane Juarez, freshman cinema and media arts major, had her heart set on higher education. She knew the responsibility of providing a better future for those following and those around her. As a first generation college student, Jane represents a new life for her family: one of success and not of struggle.

“I didn’t want to go to just any art school for film,” Jane said. “[Instead I found] a place for me to work on what I wanted to study and turn into a career, but also personally and spiritually grow.”

Jane’s parents continue to support her through her decision and all the responsibilities therein. They understand the Godly gift she has been given and profess pride in her future and gratitude to the university for her opportunity. Jane is one of the many Biola students chosen to participate in the global movement of higher education, a life offered free from the struggles of their parents.

Desire for Personal Growth

While she admits to a fear of the unknown, Jane found strength in her desire for her personal growth beyond that which she has known all her life.

“I just saw the struggle my parents had, and my parents didn’t go to college or anything, and they didn’t even graduate high school. So I just saw the struggle that they’ve had all these years, just trying to support me and my siblings,” Jane said.

Biola’s Welcome Week staff congratulated students like Jane with a dessert reception the afternoon of Aug. 20, where freshmen and their families arrived to celebrate the upcoming year. Jane brought along her parents and several siblings, who all proudly sent her off into the unknown world of university life.

“First of all, we are so happy that she came here to be at Biola because we think God [brought] her here, not us. I always encourage my daughter to be a better person. And if she’s a better person, and she goes to school, she’s going to succeed in life,” said Eduardo Juarez, Jane’s father.

Pushed to Rise Above

Jane recollects her upbringing, the values instilled in her and the battle she saw her parents fighting as she grew up. Her parents pushed her to rise above, and rise she did.

“My dad always encouraged me, ‘If you go to school, you’ll get a good education and you’ll have a better job and life will be a little bit easier.’ I didn’t want that struggle for myself, and my parents always wanted to inspire me to do more in life,” Jane said.

Eduardo is proud of his daughter and feels secure enough to let her go, displaying his faith in God and his excited anticipation of his child’s education. He presents three simple expectations for her accomplishments at Biola.

“My goal for her is to finish at university. To open her heart to God. To be a better person to the world,” Eduardo said.

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