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Transcript of Identity
1. As a first generation college student, we must live up to our family’s expectations of graduating, gaining a career and rearing children to follow in our footsteps. This we cannot falter or grow weary of, but instead strive for the greatest possible change for our family. Leonor Luis
Carlos Hernandez In order to fully grasp the idea conveyed by this rule you need to understand that we will be the first to get a higher education within our family and it is something our parents have been waiting for because their opportunities to go further in life were limited. They were discriminated against and shut down because of their race. This only leads us to being pressured to leave the "hood" and succeeding in life in order to make our parents and family proud. 1st Generation College Student/Latina woman "Coming from a latino family where everyone stays together it is really hard for my family to understand why I left for college. I felt the pressure of proving to my family that I was leaving in pursuit of a higher education and not just to abandon them." "I think going to college has made me aware of how important culture is to my identity. I go to a school in the suburbs where the majority of the residents are white. College is filled with people from all walks of life and my cultural background is what makes me different.I have grown to appreciate my culture more than ever before because I have realized how it's made me who I am." "I hope to reach out to future generations of first generation college students and show them it is possible to not only attend but complete a four year college education. I feel that the more role models students have the better chance that they will also attend." Rigoberto Bejarano 1st Generation College student / American first, Mexican next "The pressure that I feel is trying to balance making school my priority while seeking a job since many older Latinos feel that work should come first and not the other way around. Trying to balance my role as a student and worker is my current issue." "It does have a role so as much to provide insight to other groups that not all stereotypes are true, to help provide cultural diversity at USC, but I do not want my career and future endeavors to be based on my race. I want to be judged on my merits, and not by how I am identified culturally." Alex Avelar "My wife and I intend to maintain our family's culture through our future children, but also, want them to learn about other cultures at the same time. Trying to find a balance in assimilation, while keeping our identity requires constant balance." First generation college student/ Salvadorian, Latino, Human Liye Machon "People expect me to fail simply because of my skin color and cultural history. What they don't understand is my people work just as hard as any other person out there, and what we look like shouldn't be a determining factor of our success." 1st generation college student / African American & Latina "No. I can still identify with my culture, but I can also adapt to others and identify with them one way or another." "As long as we stay in the same path of hard work and determination, I think our future generation will keep striving to push our culture forward. In a few decades we will no longer be viewed as the minority, and it'll be because of the work that we are putting in now. My identity will allow me to push my children and their children to a better society." "The cultural pressures from back home (South Central) were to prove that underprivileged individuals are just as capable of being academically successful as more privileged Americans."
"Being a doctor, Chief Justice, or president of a prestigious university like USC are not career options that were created for individuals like me. My ethnic identity has a huge influence on what others will think I am capable of in my chosen profession. But, to me and many others under similar circumstances, negative cultural stereotypes are motivators to inspire others to be the best in what they do." "I don't know, I just hope that my cultural identity serves as a benefit to generations. As of right now, I am a burden. My ethnicity, my origin, and being is a mark on the greater population. But whether I prove to be an example of "rags to riches" or just another minority who got lucky, I want to inspire another underprivileged child to be more than whats expected of them."