Maria Isabel Crisostomo Salmeron

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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.

Maria Isabel Crisostomo Salmeron: UW Tacoma first-generation student.What does being First Gen mean to you?
Being the first in my family to attend college and pursue higher education as a womxn of color, indigenous and multilingual.

What challenges have you experienced?
The transition from high school to college was a big challenge for me, English is not my first language therefore, getting used to higher vocabulary was a bit tough. Not only that, exploring and finally deciding what I wanted to major on was the hardest of all.

What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
Because of the challenges I continue to face in my college experience, I have pushed myself and stepped out of my comfort zone. Public speaking, interacting with people, all those experiences motivate me more to keep learning. 

Who supports you?
I’ve met some really good friends and coworkers at UW Tacoma that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from. Without them I wouldn’t be familiar with the resources available. But most of all, I am very supported by my family. Even with the language barrier, and no college experience they still support me and motivate me.

What’s your major?
My major is politics, philosophy and economics, with a minor in business administration. I am a junior, and work on campus as the First Gen Fellows Operations Assistant.

What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Be one of a kind original, individual, unforgettable, memorable, indelible, incredible!

Return to "We Are First Generation" Home Page

Written: 
June 5, 2018