Featured Alumni Stories
Keila Molina, J.D. '12
School of Law
Keila Molina lives by a seemingly simple philosophy: "Strength in weakness."
Born in Mexico, when she was six years old, Keila immigrated to California with her missionary parents. They later moved to the border town of San Luis, Ariz., where her parents still minister in both the United States and Mexico.
Keila faced constant discrimination in school due to her poor economic status. But, rather than giving up, a disciplined and driven Keila believed her life would have meaning if she stayed focused on Christ. With the encouragement of her teachers and her own determination, she graduated as class valedictorian—an accomplishment especially dear to her parents, who did not complete high school.
With her heart set on changing the world through public policy, Keila—by faith—enrolled at a Christian university in California. Within months she received a full-tuition Gates Millennium Scholarship—an important answer to prayer and the first of many open doors in reaching her goal of affecting law and policy from a Christian perspective.
She launched a thriving post-college career working for a California congressman, followed by securing her "dream job" as a legal assistant to a lawyer who represented children who are dependents of the court.
"I hated it at first," Keila admits. "It is physically and emotionally draining to see children subjected to neglect and abuse. Yet, the more I worked with those suffering children, the stronger my calling to do more grew."
Her next step? Attending law school to prepare her as a bold advocate for children's rights.
During her college search, Keila viewed a Regent Law chapel message by family law professor Lynne Kohm, who would later mentor Keila. "Hearing her share from a Christian perspective made me want to be at Regent and learn from this lady," Keila says. The strong belief that Christians could change the advocacy system for children everywhere drew Keila east in 2009.
"The best part of Regent for me has been the support of the deans, faculty and staff," Keila shares. "When I wanted to quit during a tough first semester, they prayed for me and helped me decide to stay two weeks at a time."
Now, a flourishing Keila is a graduate assistant, president of the Hispanic Law Students Association, and senior editor and symposium co-director of the Regent Journal of International Law. She has studied in France, as well as interned at Casa Alianza in Mexico, working with street children.
On May 5, 2012, Keila graduates with a Juris Doctorate and returns to California to take the bar exam. She plans to use her experience in immigration law and child-based issues to work between the U.S. and Mexico, the two countries she calls home.
Adrian Blanco, MBA '07
School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship
National Sales Manager, PepsiCo North America
Even as he excels as national sales manager for PepsiCo North America, Adrian Blanco believes strongly in helping today's Latino youth overcome obstacles and find success. Blanco was a first-generation high school and college graduate. Now he is giving back to the Latino community by mentoring Latino youth and working to instill in them a belief in themselves and their abilities.
"Only about 60 percent of Hispanics complete high school," Blanco says. "Only 20 percent complete college. They don't see themselves as good enough. They don't believe in themselves. There were so many times I could have dropped out. I'm glad I stuck to it. I can use my life as an example to connect with young people to say, 'You can do it, and here's how.'"
Blanco helped establish a nonprofit community center called Escalera (which means "up" in Spanish) in Kansas City, Mo. Escalera provides mentoring, field trips, coaching, volunteer opportunities and other resources for Latino high school students to help them make the connections and learn the skills they'll need to get accepted to college and excel.
He also received PepsiCo's Harvey C. Russell award for his three years of efforts securing a competitive grant from the PepsiCo Foundation to help underprivileged Hispanic students. In 2009, only 88 people out of 150,000 eligible employees worldwide achieved this honor.