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Aracely Mejia


What was it like being among the first in your family to go to college?  Tell us about your story, and what you think has helped you succeed so far at UP?

Being the first in my family to go to college has been one of the hardest things I have ever done but I know it will be worth it. Ever since I was little I knew that I was passionate about my academics and excelling in them. My parents immigrated to the United States in their mid to late twenties from Mexico and they have struggled their whole lives to be where they are today. My parents stopped attending school at a young age and seeing how that affected them has inspired me to strive for more. My family reminds me every day that pursuing a higher education will help me achieve a better life and that the struggles I am facing now will pay off in the end. What makes me work hard in my academics is aiming to make my family proud and knowing that there is always something better to come during moments of doubt. The number one thing that helps me succeed is hope that I will one day use my education/degree to help others and be there for my parents like they have been there for me.

What does it mean for you to be a part of the FGEN community and to be a FGEN Student Ambassador at UP?

For me, being a part of the FGEN community is something I am very proud of. I believe that my peers and mentors within this community are what encourage me and remind me to strive for success. They inspire me to do my best and ask for help when I feel like I am drowning. I want to help other students, like myself, being just as inspired, I also want to be there for others who come after me with situations I have gone through and know the difficulty of. The FGEN community is like a family to me, a family I can lean on.

What is your advice to FGEN students at UP who are facing challenges?

My advice to FGEN students at UP is to never be afraid to ask questions and reach out when you feel lost. Make sure to share your challenges and celebrate your successes with others! Being a part of a community is what will help you get through it all.

Has a mentor played a role in your experience at UP?  How so?

Mentors have helped me so much in figuring out who I am and who I want to be. They have been there to guide me through confusing times and exciting times. Mentors have been a great way to feel like I am not on my own.

What resources have been significant, meaningful, or helpful for you during your UP experience?

I became really close friends with my engineering homebase group, I made friends with my RA and hall director, I made friends with upperclassmen who helped me get through difficult courses, and professor office hours were a big one!

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