UC Berkeley students, staff and alumni take great pride in being an integral part of the number one ranked public university in the country, according to the recent 2015 ARWU report.
As a high school student, this prestige definitely drew my attention, and I considered UC Berkeley my “dream school” throughout my entire educational career. I spent countless hours past the school bells engaging in SAT prep and AP exam preparation, all so I can stand out amongst the 67,665 total applications it received for the freshman class. My dream came true when I was amongst the 20 percent of applicants who received an admissions offer. However, the one thing that made me stand out amongst that 20 percent of admitted freshman was the fact that my daughter and husband would be joining me as we embarked on this new journey towards accomplishing my dream.
Beyond the astounding numbers in the media, Cal gave me the family I needed to persevere through the challenges of being a first generation Latina at such a prestigious university. As a young parents in college, my husband and I balanced raising our daughter while making progress towards our degrees. This could not have been possible without the resources provided for us through UC Berkeley’s Student Parent Center. As stated on its website, “The center is a centralized multi-purpose campus resource, where students can seek informed advice, develop leadership skills, engage in informal study groups, nurse babies, change diapers, celebrate achievements, recover from setback, and form lasting friendships.”
As an undergraduate, I engaged in many of these instances and received so much comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone in such a competitive environment. Feeling like I wasn’t alone in the journey allowed me to persevere through even the most challenging of times. Thanks for the Student Parent Center, I was able to push through to graduation day and was able to cross the stage with my daughter and husband by my side.
I will forever be grateful for my experience at UC Berkeley. It taught me to push through the most challenging of situations and that being a leader means paving the way for the future generations to come. As an alumni and now a teacher at my alma mater high school in Richmond, California, I motivate my students every single day to ensure that they have the self-confidence needed to succeed in such rigorous academic environments.
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