Students of the Month are nominated by their faculty, staff and fellow students for exemplifying what it means to be part of the RHSA.
Edgardo is a first-generation student majoring in Civil Engineering from Washington, D.C. He enjoys playing both music (piano, guitar, bass, and drums: he’s the whole band!) and soccer. He wants to pursue construction management and have a job that he enjoys doing. Being involved in the RHSA has meant a sense of community to Edgardo: “It’s nice to meet other students with the same path (and maybe background) as you, it’s nice to share and see people who are really trying.” The RHSA community provides a place for him to feel supported and motivated. Being around others with similar experiences motivates him to be a better person and student. He also says that the RHSA contains a lot of individuals who help each other to accomplish their goals.
Edgardo’s favorite thing about UMass Lowell is the wide range and number of opportunities for students. There are a number of doors that are open to students at the university, and Edgardo says he wants to take advantage of those open doors. Further, he says that he likes how much the people here care about the students and what they are going to do after they graduate. He is a first-generation college student who also participates in a program that allows a group of students from Washington, D.C. to attend UMass Lowell. This programmatic partnership, including the ability to attend a university far from home with a group of people he already knew, pushed him to attend UMass Lowell.
Being a first generation student is an honor to Edgardo. He is the first one in his family to ever go to college, which is something that motivates him to become a better student. He wants to make his family’s emigration from Mexico worth it, and he thanks God for the opportunities he’s being given. This opportunity may let him be the one to bring the family a sense of stability. Overall, he is happy to be here.
Grace Truong is a nursing major with a minor in public health from North Andover, Mass. She enjoys photography, writing poetry, and playing with her dog. Her favorite thing about UMass Lowell is the supportive campus: in high school, it didn’t feel like everyone supported each other, but here, everyone wants each other to succeed. She also likes the fact that everything on campus is close and accessible and that the university really feels like a community, rather than just a place to learn.
In the future, Grace would like to graduate and buy her parents a house. She would like to become a nurse either in the military or a midwife; she hasn’t quite decided yet. To her, being involved in RHSA means that she has a community that supports her, but one which she can also support. Grace doesn’t feel alone because of RHSA; while everything around her is very new, her peer leader and the RHSA team support her personally.
Being a first-generation college student means a lot to Grace. Her and her family value education strongly. She has opportunities her parents didn’t get, but they were able to provide her with by emigrating to the United States from Vietnam. Grace wants to be able to create a better life for her and her family too via her own education.