Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Flor Tzaj

SHE-CAN Scholar: Flor Tzaj

Flor Tzaj is an incoming first-year student attending the University of Minnesota. She was born in Tecpán, a small town in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. She spent a significant part of her childhood in this village, raised by her mother, a housekeeper, and her father, a factory worker. Her family consisted of five sisters and four brothers, making a total of twelve people in the house. When she was nine years old, she received a scholarship in Guatemala City to continue her studies. She became a resident student, living far away from her family. She enrolled in fourth grade at Esperanza Juvenil, an NGO that operates as a school, and from that moment on, she began her life in Guatemala City. During her time there, she improved her reading skills and developed a passion for reading. She also learned English and enhanced her scientific knowledge. She graduated from elementary school, middle school, and high school with honors, ranking first among her classmates.

One of Flor’s most significant achievements during high school was when she introduced and participated in a women’s leadership discussion with Rigoberta Menchú, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. After graduating, she had the privilege of serving as an English teacher assistant, teaching English to students who spoke a Mayan language and were still learning Spanish. Although it posed some challenges, she always considered the potential of these students, who were mastering three languages. The most fulfilling aspect for Flor was witnessing her students’ enjoyment in learning English despite the difficulties they faced. Throughout middle and high school, she also served as the class president, learning valuable lessons about leadership and helping others. These experiences contributed to shaping her character. Recently, her life story was presented as a “success story” to the board members of an external organization through alliances formed by Esperanza Juvenil.

Flor aspires to bring positive change to her community and the lives of others. She aims to provide opportunities for growth and challenge limiting beliefs and traumas. Flor continues to advocate for the importance of mental health, viewing it as a tool for personal development that can positively impact individuals, families, and futures. Her goal is to create a network of change agents and motivators who, through their support, can change lives.


Academic Major

Class of 2028

Mentor Team