Breaking Barriers

Charlie Ibarra (’18)

Undeterred by the fact that the field she’s entering is typically dominated by men, Charlie Ibarra (’18) found some truly inspirational women at Gonzaga to mentor her in her role as an intern in the GU athletic department. Majoring in business administration with a concentration in law and public policy and a minor in sports management, Ibarra feels that her Catholic, Jesuit education is helping to open the door for endless possibilities and provided a unique perspective into her future.

Just as her education has reached well beyond her field of study, her internship, too, has been more than just a job. Both have given Ibarra the opportunity to develop professionally, which she feels will help jump-start her dream career working in a college athletics department. She has also been active in Alpha Kappa Psi, the coed business fraternity on campus, and Gonzaga’s collegiate chapter of DECA, the nationally recognized organization that challenges students to prepare for careers in marketing and business through competitions and conferences. Ibarra’s scholarship is what allows her the time to focus her energies on her future and participate in opportunities like these.

“Your gifts make a huge difference in my time at Gonzaga,” she said, gratefully. “My scholarship eases the stress for me and my family—it’s what makes it possible for me to be here. I hope that I can turn around and help a fellow Zag in the same way one day.”

In addition to the inspiration Ibarra received from those who contribute to her scholarship, she has been motivated to give back through her experiences with the philanthropic activities of Alpha Kappa Psi.

“We frequently volunteered with a local teen shelter,” she explained. “My time there taught me about how much a smile and a few kind words can mean to someone you just met. Working with individuals around my own age who have far less than I do was truly humbling.”

Charlie is so thankful for the scholarship supporters that have made her Gonzaga experience a reality. She is confident that she will continue to break through barriers in the world of college sports as she follows her dreams.

“GU is everything I wanted my college experience to be,” she said. “Gonzaga has taught me that you do not have to always go through life alone. The Zag community is unlike any other and I learned that when you combine diverse talents and strengths, you can get almost anything accomplished.”

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