Kimi Mattos

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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.

Kimi Mattos, UW Tacoma first-generation student.What does being First Gen mean to you?
Being a first generation student means that I had to learn a lot of things the hard way: by messing up.

What challenges have you experienced?
By working too hard my freshman year and trying to do everything on my own, I learned how to prioritize the simple college tasks like readings, studying, and taking care of myself.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
Around the middle of my junior year, I learned that it was okay to take care of myself in the ways that I needed and not feel ashamed of that. Now I ask for help, take breaks, and see my friends even when I feel like I can’t.

Who supports you?
It helps having a support group of mentors and friends, and, even though they don’t quite understand the full stresses of school, my family as well.

What’s your major?
My major is American studies in Arts, Media & Culture.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
I would tell first gen students that even getting into college is a huge task, so congratulations! Praise yourself for every victory from here on out, and take care of yourself by making friends and asking for help, because you do belong here.

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

June 5, 2018