Guillermo Sandoval: Opening Up to the World

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The first in his family to graduate from college, Guillermo Sandoval hopes to be a role model for others in his family.

Guillermo Sandoval, '16

Guillermo Sandoval has a very specific career path in mind. The first-generation college student graduates from UW Tacoma in June. He starts work on a master’s degree in student development and administration at Seattle University in the fall.

The 22-year-old Global Honors student wants to use his experience to help others succeed. “I want to be that support system and provide students with resources while they’re in college so they can finish strong,” said Sandoval. He got a taste for that by serving as a peer advisor, mentoring 110 UW Tacoma first-year students.

Sandoval describes himself as a bit of an introvert in high school. “I didn’t really talk to people,” he said. “Once I got here I started opening up more.” Sandoval began volunteering with the Student Activities Board but credits his study abroad trips for really helping him grow as a person. “Going abroad really opened up a world of experiences for me. I became more interested in global issues and being a global citizen,” he said.

He says his decision to go to the Netherlands and Belgium ended up being “one of the best decisions of my life.” He shared his positive experience with other students by becoming a Study Abroad Ambassador and the vice president of the Global Travel Club, a student organization.

The communications major has four other siblings. Sandoval is the second oldest but will be the first to graduate from college. He sees himself as a role model to others in his family. “I like being the person who sort of encourages other people to be the best they can be,” he said. “I want the best for my siblings and for my family in general.”

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / June 3, 2016
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or