For me, being a first-generation college student (FGEN) at UP is both a challenge and a blessing. As students embark on their college education, they can be overwhelmed with emotions. At least that was how it was for me because every experience was new and frightening. At UP though, I had the opportunity to meet so many students and professors that are FGEN and have experienced the same obstacles as a college student. Being able to connect to many individuals on campus made my transition comforting and welcoming, and the FGEN program gave me a sense of belonging.
FGEN at UP is a welcoming community. The program is based on helping FGEN students with any and all aspects of college. As ambassadors, we relate to many of those challenges that go unnoticed and try to help find that sense of belonging at UP through our mentorship program and social events that we have throughout the year. This program is unique and it's growing. More incoming students come to UP without them even realizing they're FGEN, and hopefully with the growth of the past few years this program is more known throughout UP.
Coming from an immigrant family, I was raised to appreciate all the opportunities my younger sisters and I had growing up. Now being in my second year at UP, I am blessed to be where I am now and have the opportunity to study something that I am passionate about. Without my family’s support, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Being the oldest sibling, I have always strived to be a positive role model for my three younger sisters. They’re the reason why I am determined to do my best.
Andrea Angeles is a sophomore psychology major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.