By: Daisy Del Real
It was a great privilege and honor being part of Generation First Degree- Pico Rivera(G1DPR) programs: Be A Leader and The College Blueprint. These college bound workshops enabled me to grow both personally and professionally by helping me develop valuable skills that will help me in achieving my desired career. G1DPR is a great opportunity for first generation college students to reach academic success by preparing and ensuring a smooth transition to college.
By being part of G1DPR, I was able to develop interpersonal skills and learn how to network, which are important skills to have as a college student. I have found these skills to be an essential part of college, not only as a way of ensuring academic success but also as a way of making college a fun experience.
I am currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). I am majoring in Biology and my ultimate goal is to work in the medical field.
With the skills that G1DPR helped me develop, I’ve become a better and stronger student. Now, I’m that student that seeks help and signs up for and attends teacher’s office hours, as well as many other helpful programs that are offered on campus, such as supplemental instruction.
Networking and interpersonal skills have been my asset as I make my way through college. I am extremely grateful to have had such a wonderful opportunity of being part of G1DPR. I am thankful to Jacki and Gilbert Cisneros for their wonderful educational campaign because with it, they are enforcing the importance of going to college and making the transition from high school to college a smooth one for all the students in Pico Rivera homes. This has made all the difference.
As a senior, the idea of applying to college can be very intimidating. The application process is lengthy and as a first-generation/oldest child, I was left to figure out the process on my own. Thankfully, with the help of Generation First Degree and the Be A Leader program, I was not left to do it all alone. Be A Leader helped me with the whole process; from continuously rewriting my personal statements, to signing up for tests I didn’t know existed, Be A Leader guided me through every step.
Truthfully, G1DPR was such a beneficial program, not only for me but for my peers as well. Under Be A Leader’s support, we all received guidance through college and major explorations, we visited multiple campuses and even had the opportunity to have admission counselors provide feedback to our personal statements. With Alma and Yvette’s support (the Be A Leader staff), the application process felt easier than expected. I, as well as my Be A Leader peers, went to them for assistance with everything such as financial aid, scholarships, finalizing college choices, understanding loans and even down to the final decision between two very different schools.
While most of my time was spent with Alma and Yvette, they always reminded us that there was a team behind the scenes making it possible for us to have access to so many opportunities. I know that two important people behind all of this were Jacki and Gilbert Cisneros and I am immensely grateful for them believing in us, as well as acknowledging our own potential. They invested more than just money in us; they invested time, resources and their network, to help support our dreams.
I am excited to attend Cal State Fullerton this fall and be a Titan. I plan to major in Child Psychiatry. I received all the help possible from Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera and Be A Leader. The Cisneros’ have done so much for this community. I can’t wait to one day come back and join them in their efforts to help ensure there is a college degree in every household in Pico Rivera.