Every year, EARTH University graduates over a hundred leaders of change, confident that they will contribute to building a better world through their technical training and values. They are like children we see growing up, help along the way, and proudly see emerge out into the world. This pride is even more powerful when they are in fact the daughters and sons of members of our community.
Priscilla Crawford (’22,Costa Rica)
Priscilla is the youngest daughter of “Crawford,” one of EARTH’s best-loved and longest-serving transportation drivers. She visited her father at work since she was three years old. Without consciously understanding what careers the University offered, she already knew she would study here one day. She stepped closer to her dream in high school, where she specialized in Agricultural Production. Then, she successfully passed the admissions test and earned a scholarship to study at EARTH.
“When I started, it was a dream come true for my parents. It was a really nice experience because I already knew many people. I would see them in the corridors and classrooms, and they all wished me well, congratulated me, and were happy that someone from the [Guacimo] area and who was a staff member’s daughter could study here,” says Priscilla.
Crawford still remembers that moment with great pride. He remembers the gratitude he felt for the opportunities the University offered to him and his daughter. He also recalls how proud he felt realizing his little girl would be the first to attend university, seeing her go to class, hearing anecdotes about her performance, and watching her become a professional. He is proud to have share Priscilla’s journey by often being in charge of transporting her and her classmates to discover new farms, new communities, and new experiences
Eduardo Melgar (’22, Honduras)
Eduardo is the eldest son of EARTH’s Phytopathology professor, José Cristino Melgar, and student psychologist Martha Amaya. Their family of four came to EARTH when Eduardo was 12 years old. Since he was a young boy, Eduardo helped out at the farms of relatives who worked in agriculture and listened to his father speak passionately about crops and about his research. Still, even after being accepted to several universities, Eduardo made the decision to study at EARTH on his own.
Martha recalls how nostalgic she was when Eduardo told them during his first semester that he would not visit them at their home on campus for a while. He told his parents that since many of his classmates would not see their families for long periods of time, he felt he wanted to support them in that experience, even though he was close to his family. They missed him dearly but deeply admired his empathy and they knew that he was developing his values in the right place. Professor José Cristino and Eduardo shared a transforming experience during Eduardo’s second year when they took on teacher-student roles rather than father-son. “We were both surprised to see the dynamic work and to discover a new source of admiration for each other. It was no longer just personal, but also professional,” says Eduardo.
Priscilla and Eduardo earned their degrees in Agricultural Sciences on December 17, 2021. They walked in the presence of their families. Eduardo was chosen to give the graduation speech and received the EARTH Award. Both their connections to this university began when they were little. Their stories intertwined when they were accepted as students. Their parents shared a deep sense of pride when seeing them earn a degree that will lead them to achieve their dreams and start a new path, hopefully always close to EARTH.