Year: Rising senior Majors: Economics, political science; pre-law Minor: Business management
When Maria Luisa Bates Domenech was considering where to go to college, she was excited about the experiences Case Western Reserve University offered—but worried about the cost. For her, scholarship opportunities funded by donor gifts made all the difference.
Thanks to this financial support, Bates Domenech has become an active member of the campus community, serving in executive board roles for Create Circles, Weatherhead Economics Society, Define American and Phi Alpha Delta, as an assistant vice president of Panhellenic Council, and as a member of Alpha Phi.
And she’s committed to helping other prospective students find support. Now a rising senior studying economics and political science on a pre-law track, Bates Domenech has worked in the student call center on campus since her first year, reaching out to alumni and friends of the university to encourage gifts to various causes at the university.
“Funds raised through alumni affect many different areas of CWRU, but the biggest benefactors are the students,” she said. “All the clubs I have been a part of, all the classes I’ve attended and the buildings I have walked through have been made possible partly through donations.”
Bates Domenech has found success in her efforts, having raised more than $20,800 during her time at the center and being promoted to a supervisory role.
She attributes her success to her love for meeting new people, noting she enjoys the opportunity to learn about others’ experiences. Establishing a connection is an important part of her role, and she excels at it. Once, a student’s parent decided to double their donation after a conversation with Bates Domenech.
“It made me realize how much of an impact I have not only on the students who are receiving these funds, but the parents, alumni and friends of the university that I get to talk to,” she said. “I’ve also learned so much from every [alumnus] I have talked to, and some even encourage me to reach out if I have any questions about graduate school, law school, or job applications.”
Donor funds helped Bates Domenech once again when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, and the university switched to remote operations over spring break. At home in Utah at the time, Bates Domenech needed to get back to campus to gather items for her classes and then back to Utah. On such short notice, flights reached exorbitant prices. But the Case Western Reserve University Student Emergency Fund provided relief and allowed Bates Domenech to get where she needed to go.
“It gave me a whole new perspective on the importance of donating to emergency funds,” she said.