Christopher Johnston

First-generation students, who don't have a family history of higher education, are a group that make UW Tacoma a very special place. Read their stories as they tell, in their own words, about the challenges they overcame on their path to success.

Christopher Johnston, first-generation UW Tacoma studentI'm a first generation college student and a non traditional student at the age of 26.

About a month before starting at UW Tacoma, my son Christian was born. The last three years of college have been life-changing and filled with challenges. Even though my family didn't themselves experience the reality and struggles that come with college life, I wouldn't have been able to do it without them.

When separated from my father as a youth, I developed behavior problems. I was often suspended and expelled from school. I experimented with drugs and alcohol and ultimately found myself in the correctional system several times by the time i was a young adult. I eventually ended up serving prison time for a crime I didn't commit. Going to school after overcoming all of that was a challenge.

If it wasn't for my mother's love and support, the financial aid I received, and the Husky Promise, I don't think it would be possible. As a Law & Policy major I want to help solve social issues, impact the community positively, and make the world a better place. I thank the University of Washington Tacoma for helping me achieve my goals and helping me believe that I can make a difference.

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Written: 
September 15, 2016