Skip to main content

Why Gifts Matter: Scholarship Support Helps Mariam Hernandez Vargas Share Passion for History in Classroom

Photo of Mariam Hernandez Vargas

Whether she’s learning about ancient civilizations, the United States or the Middle Ages, Mariam Hernandez Vargas has a passion for history.

“I just like learning about the past,” Vargas said. “I find it fascinating how much we’ve evolved as a society and where we’ve come from.”

As a first-year student majoring in middle grades English language arts and social studies education, Vargas is looking forward to one day sharing her passion with her students as a teacher.

“I believe that everybody on earth has a purpose,” she said. “I really strongly believe that education is my purpose.”

In high school, Vargas was unsure if she would be able to pursue that purpose, but financial support in the form of the Joe and Clara May Scholarship has provided her with the opportunity she needed.

“Affording college is something that I would always worry about,” Vargas said. “Seeing I had got the scholarship, it felt like a burden had been lifted off of me.”

Since joining the Wolfpack, Vargas has been able to take advantage of her time at NC State, becoming involved in a number of faith-based student organizations and even looking into studying abroad in either Rwanda or Costa Rica. Her interest in Costa Rica stems from a project she worked on in one of her favorite classes in high school, a course that focused on Hispanic heritage.

“It was really cool to be in that class because I was surrounded by a lot of other people whose parents came from Spanish-speaking countries,” Vargas said. “I liked being in that class because I wasn’t alone.”

She hopes to bring the same sense of community to her history classroom in the future.

“I really have a heart for the youth and for children,” said Vargas. “Kids are amazing. I love kids. Everybody should love kids. We definitely need more people pouring into the next generation.”

Mariam said when she was growing up, it was her teachers and her parents who supported her.

“My parents, they work really hard,” she said. “They don’t complain about it either. It’s been really amazing to grow up with them, and it’s really given me a work ethic and something to aspire to.”

Now, in addition to her parents, she is appreciative of the support she has received from donors to the NC State College of Education, too.

“It’s very encouraging to have people that aren’t just your family believe in you enough to support your dreams,” Vargas said.