Brittany Sanchez Reed

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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.

Brittany Sanchez Reed, UW Tacoma staff and first-generation college studentWhat does being First Gen mean to you?
For me, being First Gen is a point of pride. We have to pave our own way and that can be really challenging. Being able to navigate uncharted territory while balancing everything that makes you unique is no small feat.

What challenges have you experienced?
I always knew my success in college was not solely mine. It was also my family’s. This added pressure was isolating. I had a difficult time my first year, feeling like I wasn’t good enough. My peers seemed to navigate college with ease and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t belong there.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
I drew upon the strength and resiliency my mom demonstrated when I was growing up. I wanted to succeed for her and myself.

Who supports you?
My first year, I met a faculty member who became my mentor. She advised a scholarship program for First Gen, low income students and invited me to apply. Just knowing that she existed gave me an example of someone like me having success.

What’s your major?
I have a BA from Aquinas College and a MA in Educational Leadership-Higher Education and Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
I want to remind all the First Gen students at UWT that you belong here. I would also like to encourage you to find that one person that can help you navigate the journey.

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

Written: 
June 5, 2018