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Opportunity for All

Juan Villegas ’21 and his mother, Leonor Sanabria, immigrated to Miami from Colombia when he was just a toddler. As a working, single mother, Sanabria strived to give her son every possible opportunity to succeed.

“My mom has worked hard every day of her life,” Villegas said. “She started working as a hair stylist when she was 12, and she still does that to this day.”

Juan Villegas ’21

Villegas mirrored his mother’s work ethic, excelling at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami, enough to be eligible for more college scholarship opportunities than he ever imagined.

A Flyer Promise scholarship from the University of Dayton was among those offers. Villegas accepted the opportunity and is now on his way to obtaining a mechanical engineering degree — and hoping to use it to make a difference in the world. “There should be no reason that people today are still dying of hunger or dehydration. By going to such areas of poverty and using what I have learned, I believe that I can help those who do not have basic necessities.”

Juan’s mother is proud of him, to say the least, and thankful for the opportunity provided through donor support. “It has given me tranquility and security to see him grow every day and turn into the professional man that I’ve always hoped to see him become: one full of values and knowledge. I’m sure that, in the future, he’ll use his situation to help others like he’s been helped,” she said.

Villegas is among 90 Flyer Promise Scholars on campus: high-achieving, underrepresented students who strengthen the University’s inclusive, diverse environment — improving our campus for every student. The program has been made possible by strong donor support, including a $1.5 million commitment from the Tweed Family Foundation.

Villegas feels blessed to be a part of the Flyer community and is determined to make his education count. “UD embraces its students as future leaders who are going to change the world for the better, and I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of this group,” he said. “Your donation won’t go to waste.”


Flyer Promise Scholars over two years


retention rate for the first cohort of Flyer Promise Scholars


commitment from the Tweed Family Foundation

Fulfilling Promise

Learn more about the gift from the Tweed Family Foundation.

Read the story

A UD Welcome

The Flyer Promise Summer Experience helps students connect with each other and settle into campus.

Read the story

Annual Giving

Daniel J. Curran Place
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 7054