First-Generation Celebration

More than a third of SPU students are first-generation students and the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Each November, SPU celebrates these students and the families who support them. 

In a year affected by social distancing and a pandemic, SPU has moved the First-Generation Celebration online — and students are invited to post their thank-you messages here to family members and others who’ve helped them during this important time in their lives.

Wanted to give a shout out to Lisa Hirayama and Dr. Nate Mouttet for all the help throughout my journey.

My dad always encouraged me and believed in me, even when I had doubts!

For all the love and support the people around me have given me.

Thank you CAN (college access now) for all the hard work you put into my success.

My mom and dad who even though they never went to college, always gave me the opportunity to better myself.

My mother was and is a huge inspiration and force behind my education through grade school and college.

To my Tatay, whose been my biggest supporter and inspiration in pursing my dreams of becoming an attorney.

Thank you, Admissions, for keeping me through the application process.

For the JPC staff, because they provide safe, welcoming space for all.

Thank you to my abuelito and abuelita for enduring what they did in order to pave the way for their grandchildren they didn’t know at the time. That is love. That is legacy.

To my mom, dad, and grandparents for supporting me and being present.

To my mom for teaching me hard work and dedication.

Thanks, Jenny, for teaching me how to register for classes!

To Bob Roger and the Running Start staff.

To my brother, Omar, for being my source of strength and motivation.

I am so grateful to my parents, specifically my mom and my pastor for helping me and supporting my dreams.

Thank you to my family for always supporting my dreams!

Ms. Jennifer Mills, my high school orchestra teacher, was the primary reasons I accepted and attended college as a music major!

For Grandma, in heaven watching.

Thank you to my parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles who worked hard to make sure I had the resources and support to even think of applying to a four-year college.

Before success you have to go through hardships. Senior year has been the hardest one yet. This one's for me.

I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers, all of the schools I went to and all of the people that helped me, and of course the Lord, whom all have played a big role into who I am today. Honestly, I would have not probably been here without their help. My words cannot express my gratitude. And I am thankful to be here at SPU!!

I am grateful for everyone that has helped me to reach this stage in life. Whether that was moving to the US when I was nine or something small as deciding what classes I wanted to take this year, but I am thankful for everyone that has helped and motivated me to be the best version of my self so that I could make my dreams come into reality!

My mom's dream: graduating university.

Thank you too my Dad and mom and the rest of my family, for believing in me even when I did not.

Thank you to my mom, dad, and Lola for encouraging me to attend college. Thank you to FCS professors and faculty who welcomed me with open arms as I selected Human Development as my major. I would like to personally shout out Dr. Kato, my advisor who has encouraged, inspired, and ignited hope in me! Lastly, thank you SPU for making my dreams of obtaining a college degree possible.

To my parents who believed in me, and sacrificed their hard-earned money to help pay for my education. And to my professors who exemplified Christ and taught me how to do the same in the workplace.

It can be hard to adjust to the new life but making friends who support you. But also are willing to listening to your stories is something that I have loved about college.

To my abuelita, who was never able to see me get to college but I know will look over these next 4 years. She always had faith in me and how far I’d go with education and I can’t wait to fulfill that for her.

There used to be weekly banking at my elementary school, and my parents would send a dollar with me to deposit into my "go-to-college" account. There was NO question about that goal! The account kept growing and my first quarter, the funds were proudly withdrawn to pay my tuition. It was the same for my three sibs. My parent's commitment and support was unwavering.

I would like to thank myself, thank you for pressing your parents to take you to college tours and for researching scholarships so that they wouldn't have to worry about tuition. Thank you to my parents for supporting me with their logic and reason and their unconditional love.