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SCU First Gen Staff/Faculty Profiles

Georgina Santiago
Benefits Specialist, Human Resources
Where did you attend college?

Santa Clara University '15 & '19

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

It was scary, coming to SCU was the first time I had left home. As the oldest of 3 coming from a working class family, I felt guilt leaving home to live on my own. At the time I was helping a lot with taking care of my two brothers and now my parents had to figure out what to do since I was gone. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the LEAD Scholars Program in which I was able to meet and connect with other first gen students. I was able to confide in LEAD staff and students. LEAD also helped me break out of my shell and truly believe in myself as a leader. I remember on graduation day walking the stage and finding my family in the crowd cheering me on. I also clearly recall the smiles on my parents' faces when I was able to meet up with them after the ceremony and my dad chanting for days "Si Se Pudo." It was at those moments when I knew that all the late nights, the tears, the stress was worth it.  

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

Just remember that you belong here. Being first is not always easy, but it is definitely worth it. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not forget to lend a helping hand to other first gen students, we are all in this together and it is our duty as first gen students to help one another.