LAS First-Gen Voices

In Spring 2020, we invited students to share their first-gen stories as part of the Tell Me Your Story Essay Contest! Below is a selection of excerpts from some of the participating students. Be sure to also view the video featuring Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs, Dr. Rosilie Hernandez share her first-gen story and discuss First-at-LAS.

Student Voices

student in lab

“What I represent around me is hope. I love proving others wrong and turning heads when it comes to my achievements. I do not plan on stopping when it comes to pushing limits because it is the only mentality I know. Remember that this is not about your circumstances, but your outlook on your circumstances. Our stories can put us down or take us to better places; we decide!”

Edin Lopez  |  LAS Undergrad Student

“Sometimes, the beauty of not having someone before you is that we make our own rules. There isn’t a bar set or a grade that we must achieve. Rather, we are working to achieve OUR best. By being first-generation students, we can set the path for ourselves. I feel that this is what college is all about. Growing as a person, discovering new interests, and becoming a degree closer to your ultimate career goal. This is what makes me proud of my first-generation journey.”

Reneen Allen  |  LAS Undergraduate Student

“During my time in LAS, I’ve learned that, everyone makes mistakes. So, don’t let your fear of making them prevent you from doing anything. There’s no harm sending an email (or text) that isn’t perfect, or, asking a question that you might think is stupid, because someone else is thinking it too. And lastly, in the moment, things may seem stressful, or difficult, but if you take things a step at a time, by the time you graduate, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. So good luck LAS!”

Noah Lemke  |  LAS Graduate Student

“Sometimes it may seem you are feeling behind or you feel like you are not doing enough. When I start getting into this mindset I begin to think of what I have already accomplished on my own and continue to do so, even the moments that feel like setbacks, it’s all progress. I think giving yourself credit rather than being your harshest critic is also a good mindset to practice and can greatly influence your future success. Remember resilience is a virtue not a weakness. It can be hard, it can get stressful, but hope is a journey.”

Mayra Fajardo  |  LAS Undergraduate Student

“I believe in college; if you are trying hard and learning something new every day, you will be successful no matter how much time it takes.”

Sana Murtaza Bhalli  |  LAS Undergraduate Student

View Dr. Rosilie Hernandez's First-Gen Story