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Alayah BenavidezAlayah Benavidez ’20

San Antonio, TX

Alayah is a San Antonio native who chose UTSA because it was a great option that was close to home. She’s a junior and a proud Roadrunner who was crowned Miss Texas USA 2019 and will be representing Texas on the national Miss USA stage later this year.

Reading, writing, literature, poetry—Alayah is into it all. English is Alayah’s favorite subject and she’s always wanted to teach it. After she graduates with her B.A. in English, she plans on continuing her education at UTSA and earning both her M.A. and Ph.D. Luckily for Alayah, at UTSA, roadrunners can earn the B.A. in English with an optional concentration in either Professional Writing, Creative Writing, or English Language Arts and Reading. A degree in English will prepare you for careers as a writer, editor, high school teacher, public relations specialist, or serve as a stepping stone to further your education in graduate school. Alayah believes that teaching at the collegiate level is the best way for her to focus on the areas she truly loves.

“I love that the English program at UTSA provides the opportunity to be creative and the curriculum isn’t so straightforward,” said Alayah. “It’s open to discussion and you can talk to your professors from a different viewpoint and they are open to receive it.”

At UTSA, Roadrunners have the option of taking courses like liberal arts and humanities to cover a broad range of topics like American and British literature, linguistics, rhetoric, writing, cross-cultural ethnic studies, gender studies and more. Studying English at UTSA has helped Alayah when it comes to written interviews, composing emails and other communications. She’s found that college has helped her immensely with time management and prioritizing important deadlines.

Alayah shared a strong relationship with her grandfather, who was always trying to teach her important life lessons. One that she remembers to this day is, “Don’t compare anything in your life to anyone else. It’s important to not discredit your own successes and to not compare yourself to others.” Alayah’s advice to incoming freshmen is to meet with your advisor in person, early and often. “Don’t try to avoid it. Even if you think you can do it by yourself, it helps so much to be open and to talk to them. They can help you develop your perfect class schedule.”