When the violence of the streets of Colombia entered their home, Paola and her mother left everything behind and moved to the United States. Shortly after moving here, Paola’s mother enrolled her at Marian. Although Paola was academically behind and struggling with English when she enrolled, Paola left Marian as a confident honor roll student. With the education she received at Marian and financial assistance through the Graduate Support Program, Paola attended Nerinx Hall High School and excelled. After high school, she worked part-time at Office Max while earning an associate’s degree at St. Louis Community College–Meramec and a bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri–St. Louis. After graduating magna cum laude, Paola was ready to find a career but did not know where to start. But then she remembered, “Once a Marian Girl, Always a Marian Girl.” Paola told the faculty and staff at Marian about her goals for her future and we suggested she approach Ascension, a proud supporter of Educating Girls for Life. When Paola met with the staff at Ascension, they encountered a true Marian Girl!

“Hiring Paola was one of the smartest moves I have ever made. She is smart and articulate and most important, she is a woman of high integrity and she works extremely hard. Marian gave Paola a foundation on ethics, developed her intelligence, and developed a rigor around her work that has carried her to where she is today. I am incredibly impressed with Paola and the other Marian Girls who have interned at Ascension. Marian gave them a core foundation that is going to get them very far in life.” ~Chris Young, Ascension employee, Marian board member (spring 2017)

“Marian has everything to do with where I am today. With the help of my parents and Marian, I learned the importance of education and worked hard to make it to college.” ~Paola Beltran, Class of 2006 (fall 2015)

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