A Magnolia Scholar Story: Emeli Marroquin

by on June 23, 2017

Emeli Marroquin has not planned her life after Wake Forest just yet. There are still mountains to hike, people to meet and classes to take. But this much is a solid bet: She will take on new challenges and overcome them.

Marroquin, the only member of her El Salvadoran family born in the United States, has taken a practical approach to her time at Wake Forest. Mindful of and grateful for the opportunities the Magnolia Scholars program has provided her, she also appreciates the value of self-reliance.

“It’s all about how involved you want to be in Magnolia Scholars,” she said. “Even though they tell you about a lot of things, it’s up to you – inside or outside of the program.”

Marroquin came to Wake Forest from Burlington, NC, about an hour away from campus but considerably farther in academic expectation.

One thing that helps with focus is her campus job, in which she checks on classrooms at 7 a.m. every Monday through Thursday to ensure technology is in working order. Getting up at that hour helps provide structure that’s conducive to productivity.

Along those lines, Marroquin has been determined to maximize her opportunities – specifically in foreign study. Institutional resources exist to help mitigate the cost of attendance abroad but every student has to have a plan about what to study and where. Marroquin’s was to learn about European economics in Spain.

“You also get to learn so much of the culture – the food, how people are, so many other things,” she said.

In the summer of 2017, she took the proactive step of looking into the School of Business’ Summer Management Program, a five-week “business boot camp” designed to supplement liberal arts majors’ education and increase their future marketability. In the application process, however, she realized she needed help in putting down the deposit to secure her spot. And that’s where the Magnolia Scholars administration came forward to make it happen.

Marroquin has taken a leadership role in the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS). Serving as social director, she has committed to increasing OLAS’ integration with other student groups on campus. She has also participated in community-outreach events with local schools.

In her final year at Wake Forest, Marroquin intends to broaden her horizons by participating in the recently enhanced Outdoor Pursuits program. Her goal is to go on a hiking trip to see new places and take on a new challenge.

Come May 2018, she will be embraced by a family swelling with pride over her achievements.

She is intrigued by the possibility of following the lead of a grandmother who owned her own business in El Salvador. No matter what, she vows she won’t lose her drive or vision.

“I know I don’t want to stop,” she said. “I want to keep doing more. I know I will have finished a chapter, but I will keep going.”

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