Q: What does being a first-generation student mean to you?
A: I take a lot of pride in it because no one in my family has really done college. First-generation means the first, so its like I’m setting an example for my younger siblings or cousins who’s gonna graduate after me. Maybe, they’ll look up to me and do what I’ll do.
Q: What have you done to obtain above a 4.0 GPA?
A: I just work hard in my classes, I take time doing my work seriously. Like, yeah I have time to relax and do what I want, but I also am focused in what I need to do in school. If I want an A, then I’ll do whatever I can to achieve that and maintain it.
Q: Do you do any extracurricular activities?
A: During my freshman and sophomore year, I did indoor and outdoor track. From freshman to junior year, I was in key club. Since the second half of my junior year, I’ve been working at Walmart as a cashier.
Q: Did you think you were originally gonna go to college?
A: Maybe not in middle school, but when I entered high school, I realized that I kind of need it and that it would help me a lot more in life than just a high school diploma.
Q: What are some difficulties that come with being a first-generation student?
A: My parents not being able to help me out. Like, a lot of students get the benefit of having older siblings, cousins or their parents going to college and knowing how the college application process is like, or even like your parents having a education, like a high school degree. My parents have the equivalent of an eighth grade education. So, when I was younger I couldn’t go to them for help on homework or anything. So, it kind of felt like I had to work by myself on that like I was doing that on my own.
Q: Where are your parents from and why did they come to the U.S?
A: My parents are from Honduras. My mom came here when she was pregnant with me at eighteen or seventeen years because my grandma was already here, so she came to live with her. My dad was already here before my mom came here. They met in the U.S, but he was just working with construction the whole time. They mostly came because of work and trying to get more money.
Q: In high school, what has helped you the most to prepare for the future?
A: I’ve been in AVID since my sophomore year and that has helped me a lot especially my senior year because I’ve learned more about the adult world like “how to buy a car” or “how to get credit”. Other classes in high school just don’t teach you that stuff, they just expect you to figure it out on your own and [AVID] makes a great stepping stone for me.
Q: What type of advice would you give to a first-generation student trying to go to college?
A: They’re not alone because there’s other people like them that are being oppressed.
Q: What college are you going to and what are you going to major in?
A: I’m gonna go to JMU and I’m undecided.