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SCU First Gen Staff/Faculty Profiles

Leanna Goodwater
Humanities Librarian, University Library
Where did you attend college?

San Jose State University

What was your college experience like as a first-generation college student?

No special efforts were made to help me learn my way around as a college student. I had to figure things out for myself. I am glad we provide so much more guidance to our first-generation students. On the other hand, once I got the hang of things, I truly enjoyed my college years. They felt like a big adventure, and the whole world was opened up to me through everything I learned in my classes.

What message do you have to share with current first-generation college students?

Make the most of all the events and activities the University offers to you, and enjoy yourself. Such a concentrated opportunity to learn so much will not occur again in your life. At the end of your college years, be sure to take part in the commencement ceremonies. They will be special to you, but they will mean even more to your parents and family members. I have always believed that commencement is more important for them than it is to you. No one on either side of my family had ever graduated from college before me, and it was one of the most important days in their lives to both of my parents when they saw me in my cap and gown receive my diploma. I felt that participating in the ceremony was a way for me to thank them for all the years and effort they spent raising me, and to give them a chance to tell themselves that it was a job well done.