Q: What does being a first-generation student mean to you?
A: First-generation is being a student whose parents weren’t born in America or doing something for the first time that their family has never done before. So, it’s like me going to high school and college. It’s just adapting to a new culture.
Q: What have you done to get above a 4.0 GPA?
A: I’ve focused on my homework a lot, and I may have lost a lot of opportunities because of it, but I always studied days before a test and if I don’t know the subject then…. I’ve always been a person who likes getting their work done and that character in me helps achieve a 4.0 GPA or higher.
Q: Have you done any extracurricular activities?
A: In my freshman year, I applied for SLIDE and I got an interviewed and I got accepted. Ever since, I’ve been in that club. It represents Hispanics and first generation students and going to college. They take you to places and support you, like a family. So, I’ve been in that for three years. Besides that, I work at Krispy Kreme or do my homework.
Q: Can you tell anything about your parents background?
A: So, both of my parents are from different countries. My dad is from Honduras and my mom is from El Salvador. My dad came to America when he was 15 years old. My mom came to America when she was 16 years old. So, they both crossed the Mexican border. They both went on a river and rowed on boats to get here and they went to California. My mom came because her mother was here and she wanted to support her children. My dad decided to come here because he wanted to support his family because they were really poor. So, they both went to California in separate years. My dad came a few years before my mom and then my brother came to Texas because that’s where his brother was. My mother was in Texas because that’s where her mother was. So, they eventually moved to Virginia to start a new life then two years they had me and they had my siblings a few years later.
Q: Have you had any struggles toward trying to go to college?
A: Just the fact that my parents don’t know the application process because they don’t understand how hard it is and they probably don’t know how hard it is to get a 4.0 GPA. They don’t know the system. They don’t really know much work it takes. The only thing that they do know is that if you get A’s then that’s good and they don’t know the effort in what I’m doing and why I’m working that hard or why am I in my room for so long, so just then understanding the whole process of applying to colleges and getting good grades. On top of that, I balance work.
Q: What has been your motivation towards going to college?
A: Just the fact that I can do something that I enjoy doing because my parents work in a place that they don’t want to work in and they tell me “do you think I wanna be in this job for a long time?”. I wanna major in biochemistry and you can only do that if you have a college degree. So, I guess it’s the idea of being able to do something I love and getting a lot of money for doing it, which is my motivation towards going to it.
Q: What has the been the best thing that you’ve learned in high school to prepare yourself for the future?
A: Not procrastinating because if you do then you’ll be behind. You should do your own work because if you just copy other people then you’re never gonna learn like that. So, the only way you can learn is if you make mistakes and you learn from them. Don’t be scared to ask for help because if you don’t then you’ll be stuck behind other people that are ahead of you. Then, you’ll feel less intelligent and it’ll bring your self-esteem down. So, just being out there and expressing yourself can bring a better character of yourself.
Q: Where are you going to college?
A: First year, I’m going to Blue Ridge. Then after Blue Ridge, I’m gonna transfer to Virginia Tech.
Q: What type of advice would you give to a first-generation student trying to go to college?
A: Allow your parents to know what you’re going through and tell them this is what you’re doing and give them a reason why you’re in your room for so long. Show them how much homework you have or how full your schedule is. Just put them in your footsteps so they’ll understand what your life actually is. So, if you have siblings they’ll understand what to expect because you’ve been through it. They’ll be more supportive after seeing what you’ve been going through