How a Baylor mission trip brought this student from Costa Rica to Waco
Every year, Dr. Randy Wood, a professor in Baylor’s School of Education, takes a group of Baylor students to Costa Rica over spring break to work with Santa Elena School in San Jose. They help raise money for books and equipment for the school, and help plan classroom lessons and activities. The hope is to make an impact on the community there in any way they can, big or small.
As it turns out, that annual trip made a huge impact on one Costa Rican student in particular: Bryan Lizano, now a freshman at Baylor.
“The first time I met Dr. Wood was when I was in 5th grade, in middle school,” Bryan told the Baylor Lariat. As Bryan met more and more students over the years, his love for Baylor grew — until finally, it was his time be a Baylor Bear.
When he graduated high school, Bryan was one of the top 25 students in all of Costa Rica. He was even recognized by Education USA, which helped cover partial tuition costs. He applied to Baylor, obtained his student visa, and traveled nearly 4,000 miles to Waco — becoming the first in his family to attend college.
“I want to continue the career of technology in computer science, because I want to profit from that to go back to Costa Rica and help my community,” Bryan says. “As I have such a big responsibility, I want to do well in my work. I want to demonstrate that Costa Rican people can do a good job.”
“We just feel like he’s a great, smart student, and he’s one that’s gonna do well here,” says Dr. Wood. “We anticipate that what he does here will make a contribution somewhere in the world.”
Sic ’em, Bryan and Dr. Wood!