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Distinguished Alumni Award

Entrada Scholars Alumni Award recipients

Priscila Ribeiro, 2003 Recipient

Priscila graduated from the Entrada Scholars Program in 1997 and from Calvin College in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Since this time, she has spent 6 months studying at L'Abri ( Switzerland ), working in Leeds, UK with the West Yorkshire School of Christian Studies and in Moyobamba, Peru working with the Luke Society. For the next three weeks, Priscilla will be working with the Brazilian Missionary Aviation Fellowship (Assas de Soccoro). This fall, she will begin her second year at the University of Michigan.

I'm not sure where the Lord wants me in the future or in what area of medicine... And every couple weeks or so I change my area of specialty… But I'm thinking I'll be going back to work in Brazil or somewhere in the Amazon River Basin doing general surgery or something. We'll see. He knows. I love Psalm 143... Especially waking up every morning knowing that every morning will bring word of His unfailing love.

Thanks very much for this honor and Blessings to all the Entrada grads.

In Him, Priscila

Marla Love, 2004 Recipient

While a student at Calvin College , Marla earned a reputation as a leader's leader. Her passion for justice and longing to see a diverse, welcoming community at Calvin College lead her to serve in a multitude of ways including Admissions, Orientation, Mosaic Floor, Multicultural Student Advisory Board, and as an Entrada Resident Assistant.

Marla graduated from Calvin in 2002 with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Gender Studies. In the fall of 2002, she began her graduate work at the University of Michigan . She then graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Arts in Higher Education. During her time at the University of Michigan she worked at the Office of Student Activities and Leadership and for the last year and a half she worked with the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy as the Program Coordinator for the Summer Institute in Public Policy and International Affairs. Beginning in the fall of 2004 she will be the Resident Director for Rooks VanDellen Residence Hall here at Calvin College.

Socorro Mercado-Blackport, 2005 Recipient

Born in the Dominican Republic , for the first twelve years of my life I lived in Santiago , the second biggest city in my native country. In the summer of 1987, I moved with my parents to New York City and attended a bilingual school for two years. Then for high school I had the opportunity to attend Luster Christian High School in Montana. Although my English skills were limited, I was able to graduate in three years with a 3.50 GPA.

While in high school (my junior year), I had the opportunity to attend Calvin College through the Entrada Program. This new and challenging experience changed my life forever. I was in a class with one of Calvin's greatest professors, Don Wilson. His class was Anthropology, which was a challenge for me due to my limited English skills. Once again, I trusted in God to help me make it through and I was extremely happy with the final results. Also, my Academic Coach, Jacque, worked very hard with me and believed that I could do it. Thanks Jacque!

After graduating from high school in 1994, I decided to attend Calvin College and major in Spanish and Bilingual Education. I worked closely with Jan Heerspink. She was not only my academic advisor but also a friend who believed that I could be very successful if I continued to work hard and trust in God.

However, the real challenge of my life started a few days before my first spring break in College. On March 23, 1995 I was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain. My appendix ruptured a few days later and I went into a coma. While hospitalized, all my friends and professors were praying with my family for a miracle. Thanks to the power of prayer and support of the wonderful Calvin community and people like my very especial friend Nora Koster, I was able to beat all odds and fully recover.

That fall I returned to Calvin and continued with my career plans. It was hard to get back to my academic life. For a while I thought about giving up because I felt overwhelmed, but once again I had the encouragement and support of many people during this tough time. On May 1998 after completing my student teaching at both elementary and secondary levels in Spanish, I graduated with a bachelor degree in Spanish and Bilingual Education. The same summer I was selected among other applicants to be a Resident Assistant for Entrada 1998. This opportunity gave me a chance to work with young people who were in the same place as I five years earlier.

My post Calvin work has included teaching Bilingual Education at Jefferson Elementary School ( Grand Rapids , MI ) and Spanish at East Grand Rapids High School which is where I currently work. While teaching full-time, I'm also attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo , MI for my Master in Spanish Literature and Linguistics.