Since elementary days, she planned to attend the University of Oregon. It was a family tradition; her older siblings were Oregon Ducks.  

So when it came time to decide, Nuvia Nevarez, who recently accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Nellie Muir elementary, decided the University of Oregon would also be the university she would attend. She applied, was accepted and set all her ducks in a row to become an Oregon Duck. 

However, her plans changed when she got the news that she had been awarded the Bill Gates Millenium Scholarship. She suddenly had to decide whether to break family tradition or take full advantage of a new opportunity. 

“I could either keep the tradition going or go out of state and really take full advantage of that scholarship,” said Nevarez about deciding to attend ASU. “I just fell in love with Arizona. [I fell in love with] the weather, the desert, sunny weather; it is a border state. There was also a very rich Latino culture there.” 

Nevarez experienced a cultural awakening when learning Chicano history and learning about educational movements through courses at ASU. This experience led her to a new mission in life which is to empower through education. 

“There has been all these movements that allow people like me to go to college,” Nevarez said. “[Learning about these educational movements] made me feel like I’m part of a bigger community. My education is not just for me but for my community and I really have to give back.”

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Chicano Studies from ASU, Nevarez continued her educational journey to New York where she obtained a Masters in Education Policy from New York University. She is currently working on a Doctorates Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Oregon.  

“My family always told me about the importance of education,” said Nevarez. “My mom was always like, ‘We came to the U.S. so we could give you a better life, so you could go to school. She was always really strict on us, tough on us, really motivating us to pursue higher education.”