Interview with Stephanie Valencia
Romero Scholarship Recipient - 2003
The week after the 2003 award ceremony, we asked Stephanie five
questions about her experience. Here's how she answered. . .
What motivated you to apply for the Romero Scholarship?
"The award has so much honor and prestige, and knowing who
Archbishop Romero was, and who had won the award before really
motivated me to apply. Plus, I had several good rolemodels that
had applied and encouraged me to apply. They were right."
2. What was the most memorable question
from the interview and how did you respond?
"One of the committee members asked me 'If I lost all of
my memory tomorrow, what event or person would I want to remember.'
The question left me absolutely speechless, and was probably one
of the hardest questions I have ever been asked. I said I would
probably pick one of the nights I stayed in the cooperative where
I worked in El Salvador, talking, laughing and sharing with the
good friends I made there. It is a simple moment, but it was a
time where I felt that no barriers existed between us, and I felt
complete joy and fulfillment, and I wouldn't ever want to forget
How did you feel when you heard your name called as the award
"I felt absolute shock. There was so much build up, and my
palms were sweating. When Father Leahy called my name I thought
I was just playing it in my head, then everyone looked at me and
started clapping and that was when I knew it was me. Then I just
became overwhelmed with emotion, I could barely read my speech
4. What do you feel is your biggest responsibility
as the Romero Scholarship recipient of 2003?
"I think that one of my primary responsibilities is to promote
awareness of Archbishop Romero, but beyond that, I feel more of
a responsibility to promote awareness of the causes and vision
of Romero, of peace, justice and truth."
5. What would you say to students who
are thinking of applying next year?
"Most definitely apply. The application process is a challenge,
but it makes you ask yourself questions of where you have been,
who you are, and who you want to be---questions we should all be
Thank you Stephanie for answering our questions!