Mika Alvarez

A TRIO Scholar and Journalism Graduate

Mika Alvarez

A TRIO Scholar and Journalism Graduate

Mika Alvarez:
When I was in high school, I didn't even know I was first-generation student. I didn't even know that existed at all.

Mika Alvarez:
I remember just kind of looking around and thinking that there's no way I would actually get to college or even afford it.

Mika Alvarez:
Definitely remember this moment in my life where I actually bought a light pink Juicy Couture jacket from Plato's Closet and wore to school like once a week to prove that I had some form of financial support.


Mika Alvarez:
My mom always knew that she wanted me to become a nurse and enter the medical field.


Mika Alvarez:
I am not like that at all. When I decided I want to major in journalism through yearbook and being editor-and-chief of yearbook and realizing that this was everything that I wanted to be.

Mika Alvarez:
It was really through Nevada Bound specifically that I realized that this was the major for me. There was something about this school that is very special when you walk in.


Mika Alvarez:
It's the feeling of so many professors caring about you. It's understanding that you have so many different opportunities at your fingertips through the school.


Mika Alvarez:
This is the one school that actually offers internships. So I've had several.
That really was the main selling point for me was knowing I could see myself in this school. Just learning so much about


Mika Alvarez:
Journalism and knowing that there's so much more to me than just becoming a nurse.


Chris Westin:
Many first-generation students come to the University with pressures offollowing financially secure career paths from their parents.

Chris Westin:
So here at TRIO we help students find their passion because we know if they work toward something that they're passionate about they're more likely to be successful.

Mika Alvarez:
The one thing about TRIO is that it's a doorway.  TRIO is the gateway to everything college and really trying to figure out how to college.


Mika Alvarez:
Like I always told my coach was like I don't know how to college, but I'm doing it I guess.


Mika Alvarez:
I always wanted to study abroad when you're first-generation and low-income that's not typically a dream most of us have because the dream first is to get a college diploma.


Mika Alvarez:
Being as unconventional as I am, I looked at my coach Chris I said I want to go study abroad. And I wanted to do as much of that as possible.


Chris Westin:
So working with her. I walked her through the application process exposed her to scholarship opportunities.

Mika Alvarez:
My experience with trio in trying to study abroad was the emotional preparation. You're gonna be alone.Understanding that this was going to be completely different than what I'm going to be used to. And at the end of the day


Mika Alvarez:
I'm still gonna have support. And If I could just send in one email to TRIO like once a month talking about my experience that's all he ever asked for.


Christ Westin:
And that's what TRIO is all about is to open up our students eyes to all the possibilities. Really make her dreams come true.

Mika Alvarez:
When I was coming to college imposter syndrome is the biggest struggle that I've had throughout this entire four years that I've been here.


Christ Westin:
Many students from first-generation backgrounds come in with this idea of imposter syndrome feeling like they don't belong here on campus and Mika being one of them.


Mika Alvarez:
I questioned myself entirely and I break down and I get really nervous and I get anxious that I think that people are looking at me like I'm doing something wrong.


Mika Alvarez:
And I feel constantly the pressure to be more than anything that people are ever expecting.


Christ Westin:
Working with her on a regular basis. We were able to help her find that confidence in herself and successfully graduate.


Mika Alvarez:
But Chris has always been the one to empower me and remind me that the reason why I'm here is because of myself no one else.


Mika Alvarez:
There's so much support from TRIO again with Chris and Daniel being coaches.


Mika Alvarez:
Through the journalism school it's been number one fan. And number one supporter has been Bob Felten. Oh my god. I'm gonna cry because Bob's retiring this semester so I've get to graduate with him.

Mika Alvarez:
I met him at NevadaFit. He's is my favorite person to ever be around.


Mika Alvarez:
He's taught me so much more about myself and everything that I've ever wanted to do. And like I can't imagine not having him in my life. My mom probably cries every day thinking about me graduating in college.


Mika Alvarez:
I’m not, there hasn't been a day I haven't received a text when she goes I'm so proud of you. Gosh, this school has been everything to me and TRIO has been everything to me.


Mika Alvarez:
The person that I am now is because of my experience in college like I am strong, I am smart, I am beautiful. I am all these different things that I didn't realize I was until I came here. 


Mika Alvarez:
And I fully developed into the person that I am now today because of this University.

 

 

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