What does being First Gen mean to you?
I can sum up what it means to me to be First Gen in one word: resilience.
What challenges have you experienced?
I have experienced a number of challenges in my life: homelessness, addiction, being a single parent and dealing with mental health issues.
What strengths do you draw upon to persist?
I am conscious of my own weaknesses, and I am grateful that I have found the ability to ask for help. I embrace the humility that comes with seeking to learn constantly.
Who supports you?
My mom has always been there for me. My children are an important source of support, and I have a strong network of friends in the community.
What’s your major?
I graduated from UW Tacoma with a Master of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. I have a bachelor’s in sociology from the Evergreen State College, and an associates degree in human services from Tacoma Community College. I currently serve as UW Tacoma's Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.
What advice do you have for other First Generation UWT students?
Seek out people who are supportive but honest. Don’t be afraid to look at your own behaviors and attitudes to see where you can improve. Keep a positive outlook and understand failure is an integral part of success and always a learning opportunity.