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SCU First Gen Staff/Faculty Profiles

Margarita Malagon
Director, Housing Business Services
Where did you attend college?

Santa Clara University

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

Lonely. I tried my best to make friends, but at the time there were not many students who shared even remotely, same experiences. I arrived at Santa Clara with a typewriter, when some students already had computers. I would hear how those around me spoke about being upset about not having money to by the latest fashion trend item, and here I was, scrapping together every penny I could make to pay for my books, and scantron sheets. I missed my family, hearing Spanish being spoken on a daily basis. I persevered, I worked hard; I tried to learn as much as I could, not only in the academic spaces but also about the culture on campus. I had to set aside parts of me that did not seem to fit in, and for this my heart breaks. I have hope, that things have changed, and the more diverse SCU is, the more like home it will feel for our current students.

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

Stand in your truth, and listen to your instinct. Use your gifts, share them with the world, with your community, and you are capable of doing amazing things.