Christian Malena is a Pueblo Alum from the Class of 2011. This article appeared in the Arizona Alumni Magazine.
I am a first-generation college student. My father was one of the few on both sides of my family to graduate from high school. My mother only went to school until the 7th grade. Embarking on this new phase of my life, as well as in my family’s life, was both exciting and terrifying. We were entering unknown waters, but we have done it together.
The biggest barrier I faced was fi nances. I am from a typical middle-class family, so I am not eligible for grants and scholarships that are primarily awarded to lowincome families. At the same time, my parents can’t afford to cut me a $20,000 check to pay for tuition and other college expenses each year.
As a scholarship recipient, I truly appreciate my time at the University. I never take this opportunity for granted and being on scholarships encourages me to do my best.
Out of all the applications that the scholarship committee received, they choose to award one of their scholarships to me! The fact that people are willing to invest money in my future gives me confi dence and motivation to succeed.
Scholarships have also provided me with a tremendous support system. Through the UA Hispanic Alumni
scholarship, I have mentors who encourage me and who I can go to with questions. I have had valuable professional networking opportunities, one of which opened doors for me to become a student worker at the UA Alumni Association.
I am humbled by the tremendous blessing I have been given!