Araceli Tovar Carrillo

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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.

Araceli Tovar Carrillo, UW Tacoma first-generation studentWhat does being First Gen mean to you?
Being First Gen to me means pushing harder and putting in extra time to work for my academic and future goals. It means being a student who has to learn to reach out to resources to get the help that our parents can’t give because they didn’t go to school.

What challenges have you experienced?
From elementary school to the university, I struggled with homework and understanding material. Not having the support of parents with help or advice is tough. My parents don’t understand why I go school and how hard it is for me.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
I want to finish my education; I want to get my master’s after I get my bachelor’s degree. I talk to my teachers and advisors for any help I may need to succeed in class. I reach out to other students for support. Lastly, I never quit!

Who supports you?
I get support from my employer and from my son’s father. They both give me the support I need so I can study. My son’s father helps me care for my son, giving him time I can’t while I’m in school.

What’s your major?
I am a junior, majoring in social welfare.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Being the first to go to college can be challenging. REACH out and SPEAK up if you need support or a resource. Get educated and learn from others and they also might learn from you.

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

Written: 
June 5, 2018