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Lyon senior prepares for Arkansas Fellowship

Lyon College senior Elena Cervantes will be entering the Arkansas Fellowship program this June.

According to its website, the Arkansas Fellowship offers a two-year fellowship program to a select group of graduating seniors, focusing on developing the next generation of Arkansas’ entrepreneurs and business leaders. The goal is to attract and retain Arkansas’ brightest talent by partnering with the state’s leading universities and most ambitious companies, it says.

Cervantes, of Fort Smith, was selected for the program last semester.

“I am very excited to take on this new journey and can’t wait to start working with my mentor company!” 

Cervantes is graduating with a major in economics and a minor in computer science this May. During her time at Lyon, she was involved in the Recyclers Club, Campus Ministry, KILT Radio and the economics honor society.

She also served as the captain of the women’s soccer team.

“One of my favorite memories at Lyon was playing Lindenwood University freshman year,” Cervantes said. “We were playing down with only nine players.”

“We fought til the last second, and we won that game 3-2!”

Cervantes said she and her teammates were nicknamed “The Mighty 9” by the rest of the Lyon College Women's Soccer Team.

Her proudest accomplishment at Lyon, however, will be graduating with honors.

“I am a first-generation college student,” Cervantes said. “The whole journey leading up to this hasn’t been easy, but it is about to pay off!”

She is grateful to her best friend, Bailey Hirscheider, for helping her get through college.

“I couldn’t have done these last four years without Bailey! She is a kind soul who stuck with me since we arrived for pre-season freshman year.”

Cervantes said Director of Career Services Annette Castleberry also pushed her to be the best version of herself while interning for the Career Center.

“Annette challenged me constantly and has been a big support and help in my career path. I couldn’t have asked for a better boss and mentor, who always had the best interest in my future.”

Cervantes has changed her perspective on things since being at Lyon, learning to be more open-minded and see the world from others’ points of view.

“I realized how much I am capable of because Lyon College really pushes you to your limits and tests your endurance and resilience.”

Cervantes concluded, “Is it too cliche to say I’ll miss everything? The last for years have been filled with great memories, experiences and friendships. I am going to miss my friends, college soccer and everything in between!”