Asked what has inspired her to take a prominent role in mentoring young people, Lucia Munoz Bocanegra has a simple, ready answer.
“God was calling me to do something to serve my church,” she said.
Munoz Bocanegra participates in activities that allow her to be a present, visible example of living a faith-filled life to girls and teens in her parish, St. James Church in Searcy. There, she’s been assistant youth director for seven years and a first-grade catechist for nine years.
She also organized two retreats for girls.
“I think (retreats) are a way to open up a sisterhood between young Catholic girls. It helps them meet other girls that share the same faith and hopefully in the future they can grow their faith together.”
Munoz Bocanegra is no less influential in her professional life as a teacher. The Searcy native holds a degree in early childhood education from Arkansas State in Jonesboro and just finished her master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Arkansas Tech in Russellville.
“I went through kindergarten with no English, and it took me several years to be able to fully communicate in English,” she said. “It was very scary because my teachers didn’t know how to help me.”
Munoz Bocanegra, 24, is married. She and her husband Hugo recently welcomed a baby boy, Isaias.
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