Jose M

Texas A&M - Kingsville

The big reason it was important to get a college degree was to prove to myself, my family, and my nephews and nieces that it is possible to go to college and graduate. I am a first generation college student. No one in my family had ever attended college. To graduate was an accomplishment I never would have thought I would be able to achieve.

If you were to ask me 5 years ago, where I thought I would be in my life, there is no way I would have been able to say I would be where I am now. I’m am still in school, but now I am continuing my education, working towards a master’s degree. Earning my bachelor’s gave me confidence that I can be successful in college and to continue to push myself, not only in school, but in all aspects of my life.

This program is life changing. Myself, my family, and even my friends who were also part of this amazing program have benefitted in ways that you may never know or realize.

Alexis G

Stanford

Before my brothers and I entered college, no one else in our family had graduated college in the U.S. It was important for me to attend and graduate college so I could set a standard for my extended family. A college degree also allowed me to have more educational and career options down the road.

Going to college was a humbling and eye-opening experience. I was exposed to a great diversity of backgrounds and thoughts which I believe has shaped me into a more deliberate thinker today. On a more tangible front, going to college allowed me to get my first full-time job and later helped me get into law school.

I’m proud of improving my standing in law school enough to be able to enter the write-on competition for membership on our law review journal. It was complete effort for months on end and really changed how I approach my studying and time management.

Jemmy M

Texas State

It was important for me to get a degree because I was going to be the first one in my entire family to do so. It also would show that all the struggle and sacrifice my parents went through were worth it. It has made me more confident in my ability to be successful in life. I am proud to have graduated from Texas State and also being accepted to the Masters program which I am currently working on.

Alonso M

Texas State

It was important for me to get a college degree to have better career opportunities, and to break stereotypes by being the first person in my immediate family to pursue a higher education. I view my college degree as an inspiration for future family generations to believe that a higher education is possible.

Having a higher education has allowed me to pursue a career in doing work that I actually enjoy doing. It has also helped me to discover myself as a young professional, and see first-hand the benefits of a higher education. It has allowed me to meet great people who are passionate about their work, social issues, and education.

Lizette Z

Texas A&M - Corpus

It was important to get a college degree to have a secure and stable future for myself and my family. But mainly, I didn’t want my parents’ hard work to go to waste, I wanted to make them proud. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the education that I received. I have come so far and have accomplished more than I ever thought was capable of.

I am proud of becoming a nurse, and serving my country as one, because I get to do what I am most passionate about. I have no idea where I would be right now if it weren’t for College Forward. This program has been such a blessing and a life changer.

Lea C

Southwestern

Going to college, at first, was about me not living on the streets anymore and just having a stable place to live for 4 years. While attending it became much more that that. It helped me explore the world and travel to places I never dreamed of seeing. It’s also the one thing that has made me successful in the real world.

My degree has gotten me farther than I’ve ever imagined. I’m more culturally sound. I reached to a director position in Texas before I moved and got married. I am most proud of making it out of poverty and not having to struggle once I graduated. My largest accomplishment was when I lived on my own after college in my own apartment with no other help I always felt like I’d never become independent/ be able to make it on my own. If I didn’t go to college…I wouldn’t have experienced half the places I did or met any of the great friends I made through college.

Stephanie A

Rice University

My parents are immigrants, and sacrificed so much by coming to the USA. They dreamed of their children attending college and getting degrees, and I wanted to make that dream a reality. So I always knew I wanted a college degree, but didn’t know how which college would want me, or how I was going to afford it.

My degree has been everything to me! It has taught me to aim high, and have confidence in my abilities. I also met some of the most important people in my life at college. I am most proud of receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and for getting accepted to UT Law.

Alexandra W

Texas A&M - Corpus

I had a very dramatic childhood riddled with parental abuse, abandonment, and having to support myself since the age of 15 when my mother went to jail. I had to finish high school and go through college without any family. I found a strength in myself and it really started to develop with the different aspects of College Forward.

Being in the CoFo community really is a great thing. I never realized how knowledgeable I was in FAFSA and general workings of higher education until I was in school and was an information source for my friends and peers. College Forward helped to shape my post-grad path because it instilled a sense of importance of education in me. Without CoFo I wouldn’t have had the confidence and so many accomplishments under my belt.

My greatest accomplishment since graduating is getting into a graduate program in soil and water science, and having my undergraduate dissertation published in a scientific journal. I’m working on another thesis that is on the road to being published as well.

My advice to students? Don’t let the past define you. Whether it be personal issues or a bad semester that you feel is holding you back, being resilient and pushing forward will keep you on the successful path even when it feels impossible. You can do this.”

Ricardo E

UT-Austin

It was important for me to get a college degree because I wanted to be an example that Latino students can be successful college students. It was important to me to be an example to my younger sisters that anything can be achieved.

My college degree influenced me to travel and gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the global south. It helped narrow my professional and personal interest. I have had experiences by pursuing an education that I otherwise would not have had access to. I am most proud of completing my 27 month assignment with Peace Corps Philippines.