Ara Papyan

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First-generation students, who don't have a family history of higher education, are a group that makes 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.

Ara Papyan, UW Tacoma first-generation student

What does being First Gen mean to you?
First Gen means overcoming all hardships that you will face in order to become a stronger person.

What challenges have you experienced?
My brother and I are the first in our family to go to college. It is difficult when your parents can’t help you find the best path. Knowing where to go or simply having to be on your own is a challenge.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?          
Having a clear dedication to go to college and finish a degree has been one of my biggest strengths.

Who supports you?
My support comes from my friends and relatives. My big brother supports me every day, as much as I do for him. He always has my back, and is the most knowledgeable about the programs, degrees and opportunities that UW Tacoma has to offer.

What’s your major?
I am a junior majoring in business administration/management with a minor in economics.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Going to college is not just about getting a degree; it is about making connections and friends. Get active around campus: go to events and engage in social activities. That’s where you will find your FAM!

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

June 5, 2018