Mercedes Beltran is kinesiology, exercise science major who wishes to work as a coach, particularly at a junior college or university when she graduates.
Although she majored in kinesiology, Beltran shared that her long-term goal is to become a cardiology nurse because her grandmother, Nana Popo, had a massive heart attack. Beltran loved the way that her grandmother was taking care of and had always wanted to help others.
She is currently coaching a softball team called the Bombers, an organization that recruited her when she was 15 years old. Beltran is from San Antonio, Texas, and she is a first-generation college student and started playing softball when she was 6 or 7 years old.
She takes pride and joy in her family members including her sister Gabriella, for whom she and tries to be a role model. Beltran also feels pride and joy for her grandparents as they would take her to family-get-together bars and listen to conjunto and Tejano music.
Growing up as a Latina, she learned to “work her way up the hard way and be there for [her] family.” After her parents divorced, Beltran shared that her mom, Belinda, began working in two jobs to help her pay part of her education. Beltran acknowledges that her mom is “the strongest woman [she] knows.” Her father was also there to support her financially and to guide her throughout her softball journey.
Although she wanted to work, she had a hectic schedule. Beltran also found it hard to adjust her life when COVID hit as she did not have the encouragement she had before. She believes that when COVID hit, she was able to motivate herself. Before COVID hit, Beltran did not know what plans to pursue and felt pressured. However, during the pandemic, she got closer to God and found herself again.
As an athlete, Beltran stepped up when her teammates graduated and when COVID hit. “I am the type of leader that really doesn’t speak up much, but I lead by example.” The most memorable experience was flying back to Arizona to meet her team when her grandmother had a heart attack. Regardless of the heart-breaking situation, she faced back home, she focused on playing her best.
Beltran loves the close-knit that exists at Texas Wesleyan because she feels part of a family, both in her team and in her department. “It was so fun to be able to get away from finals, and we went out there at the sand volleyball courts… and we were just out there having fun,” said Beltran. She is thankful for having met great people at Wesleyan.
She said that her boyfriend Matthew, who plays in the TXWES baseball team, has been an inspiration for her. Also, her lifelong friends, Kylie Summers and Sandra Lopez “have been [her] rock since [she’s] been here, and [she] cannot thank them enough,” said Beltran.
Beltran gives special thanks to several mentors at Texas Wesleyan. She appreciates coach Shannon Gower for allowing her to play in the softball team and providing her an athletic scholarship as it allowed her to pursue her education at Texas Wesleyan. “[Gower] values person over the player,” said Beltran.
She wishes to be like coach Gower when she continues coaching. Beltran also appreciates Muhye Hammattah, assistant director for academic advising and retention, as he always made sure that she did well academically and registered in the correct classes to graduate on time. Although it was hard for Beltran to take classes online given that some of her classes were challenging, she advises students to make friends at school and study collaboratively with them. Beltran shares that “The best is yet to come.”
My boyfriend Matthew has been an inspiration for her. Also, my lifelong friends, Kylie Summers and Sandra Lopez “have been my rock since been here, and I cannot thank them enough.”