First-Generation Students & Hispanic Serving Institution with Brenda

Segment #9 from Western Oregon University


Let’s hear from Brenda, a first generation college junior majoring in public policy and administration from Woodburn, Oregon. With an incredible Latino student community, Western provides many offerings and services in Spanish for both students and their families. Tell us more, Brenda.

– Gracias, Alex. Growing up in a small Latino town, my parents taught me to put my education first since they were not able to complete their own. Now, I’m a first generation Latina student studying public policy and administration here in Western. When deciding on a college, I knew I wanted to be close to home and my culture, and Western has a growing Latino community that feels like Family. Western also has multiple student services, like the Multicultural Student Services Program and Student Enrichment Program TRiO with bilingual and multicultural advisors dedicated to supporting students and their educational journey. Thanks to these programs, I feel like I can be authentically myself and can relate to others who share my experience. There are also other opportunities for student involvement. I have joined a variety of clubs that connect students with their Latino culture, and others that have helped me develop lifelong skills, such as the Model United Nations Club. These extracurricular activities connect both my culture and my field of study. Thanks to WOU’s growing Latino population, we will soon become an official Hispanic serving institution. Western does a great job at offering classes and services in Spanish that not only I, but my family can take advantage of, such as bilingual advisors, financial aid, and campus tours. As a kid wanting to advocate for others, I’d never imagined that I would help my community grow in such a way. At Western, I’m not just a number. I get to steer my education where I can grow and advocate for my . Now, back to you, Alex.

– Brenda, thank you for highlighting your experience and the work you do at Western to continue to strengthen the Latino community. Western’s deep commitment to Latino students and their families is evident through your story. Thank you.

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