Make your home page

Marian University immigrant athlete shares story of perseverance, faith

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Marian University student-athlete is at the center of a story about faith and perseverance.

She’s using her journey to show anything is possible and explaining how her leap of faith literally paid off.

When she’s not studying engineering, the soccer field is where Silvia “Niky” Quezada spends her time, leaving quite the mark. She says her road to an American education was a hard one, but the soccer field became her field of dreams.

“My confidence and my spirituality gave me the strength to say ‘what if,’” Quezada said.

Her dream brought her from a bilingual home in Mexico to America.

“I think I came in very focused on what was my goal for that year. So, I was able to show that I was determined and what I wanted,” she said.

One goal was at the top of her mind: getting a full ride scholarship to college.

“I knew the chances of finding a college that was going to give me a full ride scholarship was probably low percent, no chance at all,” Quezada said.

Marian University finished up construction on its engineering school this summer, ahead of its inaugural class. Its goal from the beginning was diversifying the field.

“There is very low participation of women in engineering sciences right now and so what we want to do here in the school of engineering at Marian University is to really have our student body reflect the national population,” said engineering school dean Binh Tran.

Quezada hopes to use her talents on the field as a bridge to her education. Not sure if it would work, she put her plan in play.

Soon after, it worked.

“We were looking for one more attacking player,” head women’s soccer coach Justin Sullivan said. “You can call it luck. You can call it divine intervention. But either way we are blessed to have Niky part of our program.”

Her skill got her in the door, but her history of academic excellence earned her a full-ride scholarship.

“Education was my priority, and that’s why I was willing to take the risk,” Quezada said.