Salisbury University

Maria Diaz (2010)

My First Generation Story

Being a first generation college student is an honor and accomplishment for me—and for my family. I come from a single parent home where my mother was never given the opportunity to attend college. Now, as a first generation student at Salisbury University, my family looks up to me. My goal is to earn a degree in business management and a minor in Spanish, hopefully while maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher! After graduating from college, I aspire to start my own business and be my own boss.

Salisbury University has supported my pursuit of higher education in many ways. First, the university offers special classes that lead me to the field I want to pursue. Second, the professors are great and are willing to help students whenever needed. Third, I have been given the opportunity to be the president of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), which will prepare me for my future career as an independent businesswoman.

The opportunity to attend SU would not have been possible without scholastic support from my mom and other people around me. My family has always been very supportive and encouraged me to reach the next level. My high school also offered great encouragement for higher education. These influences helped me realize that I wanted to go to college to better myself and secure a successful future for myself. So, ever since I started my high school career, I viewed it as a gateway to college. I prepared myself from the beginning and made the most out of it. I became active in my high school to start making the right connections for my future. I understood that getting close to teachers, being active in clubs and maintaining good grades would help my chances of getting into college.

My advice to other first generation college students is this: Always have an open mind and always keep communication open with professors. It is very important for your future to be able to network and establish a positive reputation for yourself. After being in college for two years I am able to see that earning a college degree requires hard work. However, I still appreciate the amount of work that people like my mom, who does not have a college degree, are able to accomplish. Students should know it is ok to be the first in their family to attend college, and high schools should encourage them and inform them of opportunities out there.

Being the first person in my family to attend college, I expected it to be difficult to find resources and help because I was new to the whole college experience. Salisbury University makes it so easy by providing resources for students. As a student all you have to do is motivate yourself to utilize these resources and benefit from them. I am proud to be a first generation student at Salisbury University.

About the Student

FGV: Maria Diaz 2

Maria Diaz was born in Guatemala in 1990, and immigrated to the United States when she was five years old. She attended Colonel Zadok Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., and before enrolling at Salisbury University she lived in Gaithersburg, Md. with her mom, younger brother and sister. Now a sophomore, Diaz is studying business management and is pursuing a minor in Spanish. She currently serves as president of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS ), and also works as a resident assistant in Severn Hall.

Student Stats

Name: Maria Diaz (2010)
Age: 20
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Business Management
Favorite Course: Communications
Dream Job: Business Chain Owner

About the School

FGV: Salisbury University

A proud member of the University System of Maryland, Salisbury University is a four-year comprehensive institution offering 14 graduate and 42 undergraduate programs. Nationally recognized for academic excellence, SU has a creative curriculum emphasizing undergraduate research, study abroad, professional internships and community engagement. Located on the scenic and historic Eastern Shore, the campus is home to some 8,200 students from more than 30 states and 50 nations.

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