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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


GUEST LETTER: A first-generation welcome

Eddie Barron is the 2023-2024 ASUA executive vice president. Barron is a first-generation college student majoring in public management and policy. (Courtesy Eddie Barron)

To all my first-generation friends, 

First off, I want to congratulate you for having the courage to step into a world that is so unfamiliar to us. It’s not always easy taking these risks for yourself, especially when you feel like you’re doing it all alone. As you step onto this campus, I want you to remember this: you’re not just a student. You are a visionary and your experiences and ideas belong here. You are the pioneers, the dreamers, the change-makers. You are the ones who dared to imagine a future beyond what was expected, and today you stand on the shoulders of giants as you embark on this remarkable journey. Your story is one of perseverance, resilience and unwavering determination. Your time and success here isn’t just about achieving higher education. It’s about breaking barriers for generations to come. Remember that you carry the hopes and dreams of your ancestors and generations before you who paved the way for this moment. 

Our presence here is not a mere coincidence; it’s a testament to our determination, community and the unyielding belief that we have in our dreams but, unfortunately, this system wasn’t built for us to succeed. So as challenges arise, which they most certainly will, remember the sacrifices 

your family has made and the doubts that you’ve already conquered. “Ponte las pilas,” as my Nana would say, and work hard! 

Through the ups and downs don’t be afraid to seek support when you need it, advocate for yourself and own the space when necessary. The impact you are making is extraordinary because you’re not just shaping your future — you’re rewriting history and you’re not alone; you have a community of fellow first-generation students who understand your journey. Reach out, support each other and celebrate every achievement, no matter how small. Although getting here may not have been easy, you’re also allowed to have fun, so embrace every opportunity, learn voraciously and explore fearlessly. 

So, as you take your first steps into this world of knowledge, do so with your head held high and your heart full of determination and grit. Keep dreaming, keep striving and keep believing in yourself. The world is waiting for your brilliance, your passion and your unique perspective. Your journey has just begun, and the best is yet to come. 

With unwavering belief in your potential y mucho cariño, 

Eddie Barron

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