The Alumni Engagement office has selected SLU-Madrid senior Paula Otero Santos as a recipient of the prestigious Spirit of the Billiken Award. Open to both campuses, this year’s award honors 18 students who have excelled in academics, leadership roles, community service, commitment to Saint Louis University and have shown dedication to “living the mission” after graduation.
All About Paula
Born and raised in Spain, Paula had never directly experienced the Jesuit tradition before beginning her studies at SLU-Madrid. Currently in her final semester, Paula states unequivocally, “The Jesuit mission is now at the center of my life. We believe in what we think and do. We believe we are here to be ‘men and women for others,’ to ‘find God in every place and person,’ ‘to achieve the greater Glory of God.’ ”
In addition to her Honors B.S. in International Business and B.A. in Political Science, she is actively involved in life on campus. She volunteers as a Campus Ambassador, served as vice president of the Student Government Association (2016-2017), mentors her peers as an assistant in Student Life, and is an active member of the Jesuit Club.
She currently interns at the British Embassy as part of the Department for International Trade (DIT) investment team. She works as a part-time researcher for the National Endowment for Democracy project, ‘Tiempode Cambios y el Nuevo Rol de las Fuerzas Armadas en Cuba’. An active volunteer in the community, she also takes part in food drives run by Madrid’s Banco de Alimentos and manages social media channels for Un Colegio Para el Congo.
In Paula’s words, “The Billiken is inspiration, it is all that any SLU student wants to be and achieve in life. It is kindness, honesty, trust, love, service, high achievement, self-confidence, faith, respect, acceptance, multiculturalism. It is the Jesuit tradition embodied into a community-unifying mascot.”
Congratulations to Paula for representing what it truly means to be a Billiken.