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Sara Vasquez


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My name is Sara Maria Vasquez and I am currently attending Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Growing up in a Central American household, I knew I had a lot of pressure to succeed in my future and make of great use the opportunities I was given. I learned from a young age that I have a strong voice and character that I could use towards something big. I grew to want to make my community and family proud by combining my strengths and passion toward a goal that will succeed largely. Growing up, I played a lot of sports, participated in outdoor activities, and through that I made many friends at school, work, and on the tennis court. In high school, I was able to participate in the KCMBF Student Law academy which significantly helped me decide my career pathway. From then I felt that I could be capable of achieving a law degree in college. Not very many people know where Costa Rica is and its beauty is often hidden in Central America, so I strive to keep both my Costa Rican and American ethnicity as a major part of my life. As a big dreamer, I knew I also had to put in strong work ethic toward my goals of becoming a bilingual lawyer. I took advanced courses, participated in community hours, and continued to take the necessary steps to achieve my dreams. I began to feel my goals even closer and with that came a stronger sense of commitment to my academic pathway. I am now hopeful to major in International Relations and achieve my goals of a J.D in my future. Most of all, though, I look forward to where my journey takes me!


Florida International University

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • History and Political Science
    • International Relations and National Security Studies
  • Minors:
    • Geography and Environmental Studies

Shawnee Mission South High School

High School
2019 - 2023
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • International Relations and National Security Studies
    • International/Globalization Studies
    • History and Political Science
    • Law
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      International Affairs

    • Dream career goals:

      International Lawyer

    • customer service specialist

      Beauty Brands
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Beauty Advisor

      Ulta Beauty
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Coach and Referree

      I9 Youth Sports
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Shift Leader

      Smoothie King LLC
      2020 – 20211 year





    Junior Varsity
    2019 – 20201 year


    2021 – Present3 years


    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General

      AP Research — conducting full study/paper
      2022 – Present
    • Academic

      AP Capstone Seminar — student
      2021 – 2022


    • Shawnee Mission South

      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      JC Christmas Bureau — Translator and Shop Escort
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Special Olympics — coach and volunteer
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering


    Future Interests






    Liv For The Future Scholarship
    In my everyday life, I strive to exemplify leadership through my experiences as a first-generation college student at Florida International University, my passion for racquet sports, my strong work ethic and commitment to my studies, and my love for travel and exploring cultures. Attending Florida International University, a dream of mine since I was a freshman in high school, signifies my dedication to pursuing higher education. My journey to college, going through the application process alone and saving up for my education, exemplifies a unique form of leadership and hard work. It demonstrates that I had to pave my way and that my competitive GPA in high school was a testament to my commitment to turning my dream into a reality. Leadership in this context is about setting a precedent for future generations and proving that challenges can be overcome through dedication and hard work, or at least, that is my take on it. Additionally, my lifelong passion for racquet sports, such as tennis and pickleball, has taught me invaluable leadership lessons. These sports require focus, perseverance, and the ability to make quick decisions under pressure. While I can't say I wish I was more skillful in these sports, I can say my love and dedication for them has only grown with the challenge. By consistently pushing my limits on the court, I demonstrate leadership by showing others that achieving excellence takes continuous effort and a willingness to embrace challenges. Moreover, my strong work ethic reflects a core aspect of leadership. Whether I am juggling academics, sports, or part-time job commitments, I understand the importance of discipline and dedication in achieving my goals. Demonstrating that I work for everything I have not only sets a personal example but also inspires others to approach their goals with the same unwavering determination. One way I push myself to work harder is through my love for languages. My pursuit of learning new languages, particularly Portuguese, showcases a branch of leadership.By embracing the challenge of language acquisition, I strive to be a leader in fostering cross-cultural understanding. Learning a new language is not only an act of personal growth but also a way to bring people together and bridge communication gaps. Lastly, I wouldn't tell you enough about myself if I didn't mention my deep connection to my roots in Costa Rica. Growing up in Costa Rica and being involved in charity work from a young age has had a profound impact on shaping my character. The experiences of helping others in need have instilled in me a deep sense of empathy and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. These experiences have also nurtured my love for travel and exploring different cultures, fostering a global perspective that encourages me to embrace diversity and connect with people from various backgrounds. Without my memories spent with my cousins and grandparents in Costa Rica when I was little, I don't think my goals would look the same today let alone achieve my dreams the way I have so far. True leadership is not about seeking recognition or accolades; it is about positively influencing and inspiring those around us. My journey to college, shaped by diverse experiences, serves as a testament to the power of determination, empathy, resilience, and a global perspective in the pursuit of one's dreams and in becoming a leader who can bridge cultural divides.
    Nicholas Hamlin Tennis Memorial Scholarship
    When I began playing tennis, I was worried this would be yet another sport that I would have to eventually quit due to moving back and forth between my mom and dad. I often struggled because I had played many sports and would never stick with them long enough to be a good player. However, playing tennis taught me I had to stop worrying about how good I needed to be or how hard I needed to train and begin enjoying the sport. Tennis teaches people that there is no cap on the age or the level you play. I have played with people of all ages, some who were exceptionally better than me and some who weren't. I learned to enjoy playing it inside, outside, with friends, and even by myself. Tennis taught me flexibility and change is perfectly normal, and that others go through it too. It's not where you play or how prestige you train or even how good your coach is when it comes to sports. It's what you make of it and how it impacts you. Now, I not only play tennis, but I've also started playing pickleball and even formed relationships through both sports. I met the person I love who also taught me the ropes of pickleball. In return, I taught him tennis and now we play both sports multiple times a week. In the summertime, we enroll in some tournaments and even go play with our friends. Tennis has made me confident that good things come to those who show patience and adversity through hard times. I hated how bad I was when learning to play, and I wanted to quit when younger kids were playing exceptionally better than me because their parents could afford lessons each day. I felt that because I didn't have those privileges, I couldn't be good, but that was far from the truth. I stuck with it and even played it at home with my dad at times when I had to quit lessons. Since the day I began to win some matches against my parents, my motivation to keep playing grew and now I have gained more confidence in my abilities. Tennis has shaped my views of commitment, how it doesn't come easy or fast. In the process of it all, I learned a tennis skill that I thought I'd never get. All in all, I am grateful for what the sport has given me throughout my high school years and I'm excited to keep it a part of my life as I get older.
    Jessie Koci Future Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    I am currently striving for a Juris Doctor (J.D) degree after achieving my bachelors. I currently look forward to studying International Relations or International and Global studies as my undergraduate degree because I have always had a passion for multicultural studies as well as multilingual careers. In addition, I'd like to use my JD to qualify for higher positions in the legal field, ideally involving Latin affiliated nations with the United States. Whether it is owning and operating an immigration law firm or establishing myself as a Latino-serving government official, I am very motivated to achieve this level of study. I often find myself looking forward to owning a female-led company such as a law firm or a legal counseling business. Although I am not opposed to working for large corporations, I have felt a little unsure about working in corporate-owned environments where my needs and stability as an employee may be overlooked. I would like to establish a better work-life balance and a safe environment, especially for women in the legal fields who often are seen as less credible or qualified. I am confident I can establish this for myself and others as well. Although I am aware of the difficulty that comes from owning a business and the risks it takes to gain success, I feel I am motivated and focused enough to make mistakes, learn from them, and keep moving forward even when the risk of failure is high. It is true that many attempt to establish themselves as entrepreneurs but are unsuccessful, however, I feel that in this day and age, there are so many tools and fields of study that can guide me in the right direction. I feel I am committed and excited enough that even the downsides of obstacles will only strengthen my reasons to stay. I also feel I have a lot of support from family and a community that makes me feel proud and strong enough to achieve this level of success. Along with my community, I am devoted enough to myself that I am not willing to give up easily knowing I could have kept going or kept trying. Although I have lots to learn and lots of growing to do, becoming an entrepreneur as a young woman has always been a goal of mine not only for myself but for my family and my Latin community. I am so lucky to have been given the opportunities I have, as well as lucky enough to know I can only reach farther if I find more opportunities to grow myself and for those reasons, I am here :).