Armen 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.

Armen Papyan, UW Tacoma first-generation studentWhat does being First Gen mean to you?
Being First Gen means being the first to break barriers for me and my family. It means my questions may go unanswered. It means I must experience college on my own.

What challenges have you experienced?
There are many resources and opportunities to get involved, however it is a challenge to navigate through it all and find a place where you belong.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
UW Tacoma provides a platform for my passion for public service and leadership. I am grateful to attend and receive a world-class university education with talented professors, staff and students who make each day a milestone on my journey.

Who supports you?
Often we become so devoted to our work that we fail to recognize our endless accomplishments and to appreciate the people that make up our lives. My support comes from my family, and especially my mother.

What’s your major?
I am a junior majoring in politics, philosophy and economics, with a minors in business administration and human rights. I am the ASUWT director of legislative affairs.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
From a young age, I was reminded of the value of pursuing higher education and recognizing the opportunities that will follow. Education is an investment in life. Everything can be taken away, but your education will remain with you. At UW Tacoma, you will be surrounded by a supportive community of first generation students with experiences very similar to your own.

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Written: 
June 5, 2018