Western Washington University

Francisco Prieto (2016)

My First Generation Story

My education is a testament to the sacrifices and struggles that both my parents and grandparents have made for me. Every opportunity that has come my way is due to the support that I have received from my parents and grandparents. The value that I hold towards my university education represents the educational progress achieved by my family. I am the product of grandparents who were not allowed the opportunity to receive an education based on their economic factors, and parents who forewent their educational aspirations to place my needs first. Their support has made it possible for me to receive a post-secondary education.

Having the opportunity to attend Western Washington University and receive a college education is my way of thanking my parents for supporting me in all of my academic decisions. Thanks to the support that I have received from my parents, I will finish my undergraduate degree this upcoming fall. Throughout my childhood, my parents made sure to always communicate the importance of education and the importance of holding a university degree. Although neither one of my parents went to college, they were there supporting me in any way that they could so that I could achieve my goal of becoming a college graduate.

Attending a university is also my way of thanking my grandparents for the struggles they faced immigrating to the U.S. in search of a better life. My attendance at Western Washington is validation for their choice to leave behind their loved ones to provide a better life with for their family. The hard work and dedication that I have put into my university career could not have been done without the support and motivation of my parents and grandparents. My success is their success.

About the Student

Francisco Prieto Resized

My name is Francisco (Franke) Prieto. I was born in Sunnyside, Washington. I am the oldest of three, and the first person in my family to attend college. I grew up in a low-income household with loving parents who always made sure I had the best childhood they could provide. I currently attend Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. I will graduate this upcoming fall after completing my student teaching; my degree will be in Spanish and secondary education, with a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Student Stats

Name: Francisco Prieto (2016)
Age: 22
Year in School: Senior
Major: Spanish/Secondary Education
Favorite Course: Spanish 331
Dream Job: English as a Second Language Instructor Abroad

About the School

Western Washinton

With 15,000 students, 160 academic programs, and an energized campus community, Western offers the focus on students and the faculty access of a smaller college and the academic choice, resources, multicultural diversity, and room to grow of a large university. Not so big that you feel like a number; not so small that you have to conform to a mold. Large enough for you to define yourself and small enough that you make a difference.



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