A Challenging Journey to Higher Education

Living with Cerebral Palsy has not prevented Guadalupe Martha (Lupita) Rivera Montoya from pursuing her dream of studying at university. But sadly, her journey to obtain the fundamental civil right of education has been long and challenging.

As a child, Lupita was not accepted at public or private schools, so she began her formal education at the age of 29. She joined the Association for People with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 33 to undertake high school studies, which she completed online through the Ministry of Public Education.

Lupita graduated from high school in April this year, aged 48, and began studying a Bachelor of Education at UVM in Mexico. After being rejected by several universities, UVM granted Lupita admission, and awarded her a scholarship.

When describing her drive to pursue higher education, Lupita said: “My condition does not prevent me from having the ability to study, learn, and understand the situation in this country and around the world.”

She hopes to go on to study Special Education once she completes her degree and plans to teach children and young people with and without disabilities.

Lupita’s ultimate aim is to return to the institution that has given her so much, the Association for People with Cerebral Palsy – as a teacher and help other students who have not had the opportunity to study, as she did.

Lupita says people with disabilities have every right to attend school and university, to excel, and be productive, and individuals, governments and institutions need to better understand inclusion.

“There are many people with different conditions who are being denied the right to obtain the opportunities that everyone else has. If universities gave us the opportunity that UVM is giving me, Mexico would change, because people with disabilities have as much capacity as anyone.”

“I believe it is never too late, and if life, and if the university allows me to, I am the happiest person in the world to study. I know it will not be easy, but nothing is easy in life. Anything can be achieved if you want it, and work for it.”

We applaud Lupita on her tenacity, drive and achievements, which demonstrate how accessible, quality higher education can greatly improve the lives of all people. We wish her well in helping make the world a better place.