Karl Tolentino

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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.

Karl Tolentino, UW Tacoma first-generation student.What does being First Gen mean to you?
I am proud to be a first generation student and represent my Filipino culture in a space where I can be myself and share my creativity.

What challenges have you experienced?
I have experienced a lot of challenges. Where do I start? I often felt alone and could not connect with anyone because I felt out of place.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
When I have a lack of motivation I use art as my outlet and put my energy into my creativity.

Who supports you?
My biggest supporters are my parents.  They are the ones who believe in me and brought me to the U.S. to make my life better.

What’s your major?
I am a senior in arts, media and culture with an emphasis on visual arts, and minoring in museum studies and nonprofit studies.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Be your authentic self and do not let anyone tell you that you are not worthy of an education.

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

Written: 
June 5, 2018