Dejanira Peterson Rios

Age: 19

School: Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

To me, the Trey Whitfield Foundation is about overcoming challenges and adversity in pursuit of an education, a trait which I have shown several times throughout my academic and school sports career. Notable is senior year of high school during track and field, when I had knee pain and weakness to the extent that after just two or three triple jumps during meets my knee would simply collapse during my jump. Presented with this physical challenge, since then, I have resolved to work on strengthening not just the muscles in my legs but the rest of my body to take the impact of my events.

This past year of college track, I have beaten my old personal records for both long jump and triple jump by a full two feet, without incident, and I’ve even run the 100m, 200m, and 400m races. This issue is one of several things I have overcome while also doing my best to be a good student. I felt I achieved academic success in high school when I finished in the top quarter of my class, and in college, so far, all my grades hve been A’s and B’s of which I am also proud of. At Roger Williams University, I am part of the Spanish Club and Campus Entertainment Network, which organizes events for students. I have also continued being an athlete and am part of RWU’s track team.

By pursuing higher education, I want to be prepared for whatever career I decide. The ability to use a second language and being familiar with business ideas are both characteristics of my education that will carry over into other fields, opening doors to more opportunities.