Sam Houston State University

Christopher Buendia (2016)

My First Generation Story

I am not only a first-generation college student, but also a first-generation American. My family lived in a poor city in Mexico close to the border in Texas. Because my parents and grandparents didn’t go to high school, my family really didn’t have the opportunities that I do here in the U.S. After my parents married and moved to Texas for the promise of a better future, they had me.

I couldn’t ask for a better city to grow up in than Houston, which is where I lived until August 2015. Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is full of diversity and culture. I got a taste of college life when I was 15 years old at Victory Early College High School, and was able to graduate with my associate degree in arts from Lone Star College—North Harris and my high school diploma at the same time. I was then accepted to SHSU, where I am majoring in criminal justice and minoring in computer science information assurance.

I really enjoyed my first year here. It was challenging trying to keep up with the rest of my peers, but I feel as though my high school experience made the transition much easier. I knew I had to do better in order to succeed. I was able to get a job at the university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center, which helped develop my customer-service and student-relations skills. I also joined a wonderful organization on campus called SH ELITE (Establishing Leadership In and Through Education). ELITE helps me set my goals and keeps me on track.

When I speak to family about my college life and all that goes with it, they don’t really understand because they didn’t finish school and know very little about it. However, they do value education, and the fact that they pushed me to do something so important really makes me push myself harder each day.

My road has been bumpy, but my goals are all rooted in the moral compass my family instilled in me. To succeed in those goals, I need the most important part of me: my family. They have been there and supported every decision I have made, no matter how small it may seem, or how challenging it may become.

About the Student

Christopher Buendia Resized

Christopher Buendia, a Houston native, is a junior at Sam Houston State University. He is majoring criminal justice, with a minor in computing science information assurance. He is active in the Sam Houston Establishing Leadership In and Through Education program.

Student Stats

Name: Christopher Buendia (2016)
Age: 19
Year in School: Junior
Major: Criminal Justice
Favorite Course: Computer Programming
Dream Job: Digital Forensic Ivestigation

About the School

Sam Houston State University

For more than 130 years, Sam Houston State University has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Its motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” echoes across SHSU’s seven colleges and beyond its Texas campus through student research, creative endeavors, service learning, volunteering and more.



  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662