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Business administration student Andrea Zapata

Although she was attending college in Southern California, Andrea Zapata was looking for a school with a commitment to sustainability and a focus on personal growth.

One night, her mother had a dream which led them to discover MUM. Two weeks later, Andrea was attending a Visitors Weekend.

“It was my first time in Iowa, but I had this settled feeling of being at home,” said Andrea. “When I went back to California, I felt really peaceful for several days, and I knew I wanted to return.”

Andrea enrolled in MUM in the fall of 2013 to study Sustainable Living.

At the end of her first year, Andrea wanted to find out more about how the Transcendental Meditation® program can help disadvantaged children.

During a three-week internship with Father Gabriel Mejia’s Fundación Hogares Claret in Colombia, she conducted a sustainability evaluation of his center for displaced street children in Cali. There, she learned about how the children are overcoming their circumstances to change their future.

It was a really powerful experience and it helped deepen my appreciation for Transcendental Meditation,” Andrea said, “I saw first-hand how it affected these kids.”

With fellow ELI member Dániel Pál

In addition to TM, Andrea discovered other activities that helped her thrive as a student at MUM, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, free-writing, and spending time with like-minded friends.

Andrea’s interests include entrepreneurship, leadership, and sustainability, and she hopes to combine these to create a business that will facilitate the increase of renewable energy.

Andrea also hopes to inspire her generation to engage with causes they are passionate about.

“This university attracts people who think outside the box and have lots of ideas that they would like to create, but often there is a lack of belief in themselves,” said Andrea, “Sometimes you just have to jump and build your wings on the way down.