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Monique McPherson

Monique McPherson

Monique McPherson never really set out to study at Wayland Baptist. Like many international athletes, she was looking for a place to hone her sport while earning a degree, and a Division I school was recruiting her for that purpose initially.

But when that fell through -- her SAT score was 10 points shy of the requirements -- the Jamaica native found herself on the Plains of Texas, with a much different landscape than her homeland.

Though it might not have started out as her dream, Monique has now found herself at home, thanks to donors like you who make the WBU experience accessible for students of all backgrounds.

Changing attitudes

Coming from a tropical island, Monique found the cooler climate jolting, and it only got worse as the fall waned. Track practice, where she was training to run the 400-, 800-, 1500-, 3,000-meters and the 3-mile events, was a challenge as she had to train in the cold.

Academics were enjoyable for the declared accounting major, who found her professors knowledgeable and caring.

“I wasn’t mature enough to understand the coach’s point of view; I would only look at my point of view. I didn’t take the time to get to know (my teammates) as a person,” she recalls of those early struggles.

But in the spring, things took a better turn. The once closed-off freshman began participating more in classes, getting to know fellow runners and learning that Wayland was not all that bad.

“I had to have surgery, and that’s when I really felt like this was home for me. I could not move, and those teammates that I would not talk to were there for me. My professors would call me to see if I was OK or needed help for my class. That’s when I realized that this environment is a place you actually wanted to stay,” she said.

Making it home

Monique credits Wayland for helping her focus on academics and prepare for her future. She found acceptance and love in a job in the admissions office, and she credits that experience with maturing her and changing her attitude.

“I don’t call it work anymore but I call it my family. They are people I can really call upon whenever things get rough,” she says.

She’s excelled in track, besting her time in the 400 and setting a personal record in the 4x4 relay, despite what she calls one of her worst seasons. She’s on target to keep improving.

“Now that I’m listening to my coach I am getting better. I have faith in him now that I’ll be ready for whatever comes,” she said.

Thanks for being part of stories like Monique’s and impacting her for the future!