Graduating The State Way
When it came to college, we were never actually sure that that was going to be something that we were able to do. My dad tells us to this day that, you know, I was going to be satisfied if you all graduated high school. On my graduation cap. I put, “Para mis padres. Llegaron sin nada y me lo dieron todo.” Which translates to: For my parents. They got here with nothing, and they gave me everything. When you get pregnant, people expect you to fail. So I wanted to prove them wrong. I wanted them to know that you can have a baby and still go to school and still finish on time. My mom asked us what the plan was gonna be when we first told her that I was pregnant. I just said I had to go to work and go to school. I knew I had to finish on time so that I could get my career. Growing up in Kennesaw, Georgia, I had never really gotten to be around a group of people that was as diverse as it is here. I didn’t really have an idea what I was gonna do. But I knew that I wanted to have that degree. I wanted to make it across–like walk across that stage. I just felt like my career path … I would find it along the way, and I’m glad that I can say that it did. The Panther Retention Grant to me was Georgia State’s way of saying that we saw that you had fallen at the finish line. Let’s pick her up and push across so that she can finish what she started. My mother and father were both born in the 1800s, and they did not go to college. I’m the first one in that generation that is going. I was never gonna quit. I had quit in the first year in 1943 and I wasn’t going to do again. My name is Angelica Sanchez. I’m a graduating senior with a major and public relations / journalism and a minor in marketing. And I’m a proud Mexican from Gwinnett County. My name is Andrea Scales. I’m a journalism major and a speech minor. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I’m Matt Long. I am from Kennesaw, Georgia. I am graduating with a bachelors in film and media. My name is Asia Heywood. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m an army brat, so I’ve been all over the United States, and I will be graduating with a degree in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration. I’m Joyce Lowenstein. I am ninety three years old. I’m receiving a degree in art history at Georgia State University, and you could do it too.