Welcome Scholars and Families!
Here's my story about how college changed my life:
I still remember the feeling of excitement while driving up to UC Santa Barbara. I was eager to leave home and finally be on my own. However, this quickly changed once I arrived to my dorm. Dozens of eyes peered as I walked down the hallway towards my room. It was at that very moment that I realized that I was different. I felt that I did not belong, that I did not deserve to be there, and that people like me did not attend college. I pleaded with my ama(mom) to take me back home, however, she confidently reassured me that I belonged at UCSB. I was a first-generation, low-income college student, and one of three Latinas in a dorm floor of 60. Being a college student was a new experience for myself, as well as for my family. However, with determination, willpower, and commitment to my future, I knew it was time to grab the bull by its horns. I struggled for months, both academically and socially, however, refused to give up on my dreams and my future. I established relationships with students, professors, and organizations that understood my struggle. I actively participated in Hermanas Unidas and began to work with Cal- SOAP, a college-access program for local high school students. Doing so allowed me to establish strong roots as a Latina scholar in higher education and become part of a community of students determined to obtain a college education, while also establishing a path for the generations to come.