SOAR TRIO Legacy Wall

Graduating students in the SOAR TRIO program shared their thoughts and experiences on the "Legacy Wall" in the program’s office. Each responded to three questions — see their answers below.

Miranda Bettencourt

Miranda Bettencourt

What have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
I've gained the skills to be organized, be a hard worker, and gained the confidence to succeed here at SF State. Without SOAR TRIO, I was lost with where I wanted to go with my career and didn't have a set goal. Luckily, they were able to help me set myself up to graduate this year and be ready to reach my goals for the years to come.

What are your plans following graduation?
After graduation, I'm going on a small cruise trip to Mexico with my family to enjoy the start of my summer vacation. Then when I return, I plan to work as a full-time teacher at an early childcare center near home as I continue to build my experience and knowledge on working with children.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Some words of advice for the continuing students are just to stay on top of everything and don't let anything discourage you. There's always a way to succeed, just know that there are resources and people out there to help and that's what's going to keep you motivated til the end.

Sylvia Carolina Flores

Sylvia Carolina FloresWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
My experience at SF State has been lots of fun. I have gained so many friends and experiences that I will never forget.

What are your plans following graduation?
Work in the tourism industry and make sure to come back to SF State to help other students connect with professionals in the tourism world.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Never give up. Things always have a way of working themselves out.

Charlene Halal

Charlene HalalWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
Through my experience at SF State and SOAR TRIO, I have gained many life-long friendships and connections. I have met so many amazing individuals during the four years I spent at SFSU. I have also gained self-confidence with all of the help and support that I received, and I always felt like I had someone who can relate to my struggles as college students through the SOAR community.

What are your plans following graduation?
My plans following graduation are to find a full time job, hopefully in the medical field, and eventually go back to school to obtain a master’s degree in public health.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Some words of encouragement I can give to continuing students are to never be afraid to reach out and ask for help, use your time wisely (especially commuter students), and communicate with your professors/colleagues because chances are, you’re not going through anything alone.

Maguie Inaya

Maguie InayaWhat are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
My advice for future students would be to be involved in their department clubs and follow them on social media. Attend their events and meet other people that have the same career goals. Make meaningful relationships with their professors and peers. Take advantage of scholarships, paid internships and/or fellowships. Stay connected to SFSU after graduating.

 

Elizabeth Magana

Elizabeth MaganaWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
Being a part of SOAR, I was able to gain valuable academic advice, leadership, and knowledge through their advisors, workshops, and classes. I first joined my freshman year when they first offered the HSS class and this honestly jumpstarted my experience. Receiving priority registration is nice, but SOAR offered much more than that and made college a breeze. Taryn has been one of the most supportive advisors since my freshman year, and without their and SOAR's guidance, my college experience would not have been the same. SOAR made it possible for me to balance my work life, my social life, and my academic life, allowing me to graduate in the four years.

What are your plans following graduation?
After graduating, I will be spending the summer and following academic year completing the prerequisites for applying to graduate school. I want to become a pediatric occupational therapist and will be applying to various programs across the state. I am in no rush to go to grad school but I do know that this is my second chapter. I do want to travel and spend some quality time with my family since I have been away from home for a while now. But if there is one thing I have learned in college, it is to take your time and not rush through your journey, just enjoy it.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
A piece of advice I would give to continuing students is to not be afraid to get involved, enjoy the journey, and take the leap. Academics is one part of the college experience, but when you join a club or organization on campus, you are able to gain outside skills and talents that will help you round yourself as a student. Being a part of 4 different organizations on campus was a workload but I would not be the student I am today. I was truly able to gain valuable networking and leadership skills by simply being a member of a great club, such as SOAR. You only get one college experience and it is important that you make the most of it by failing and learning from those failures, celebrating the successes with friends in the city, and not being afraid of the new experiences. Taking the first step is always the hardest. I was a shy girl and I would not have had the guts to join SOAR had I not stepped out of my shell and asked about the program. College is one chapter in our book of life and I am happy and proud to have had SOAR be a part of my journey.

Lorna Mata

Lorna MataWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
My experience at SFSU was very enriching and exciting. I learned so much about myself and the value of education in my life. Being a 1st generation student is difficult, and at times it is overwhelming. I am happy I found SOAR and received the help and motivation to keep pushing when times got tough. I would like to give a huge shoutout to my advisors Taryn and Amie, I do not know what I would've done without them.

What are your plans following graduation?
My plans post graduation are to finish my prerequisites for nursing school, which I will apply to in January 2020.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Everything in life is hard, what will keep you going is how bad you want something. Never give up, always ask questions so you can do things appropriately.

Kristy Nguyen

Kristy NguyenWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
I am a transfer student from skyline college. I transferred with an associate’s degree from there. Being at SF State was similar to how it was at skyline college, but more in depth when it came to courses and curriculum. There are a lot more students at SF State as well. I gained more knowledge about the field I was interested in. For SOAR TRiO, I became a part of a community and gained one on one support when I needed it.

What are your plans following graduation?
After I obtain my bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development with a focus on early childhood and a minor in special education, I would like to work my way up in the position I am in now. Once that progresses, I hope to one day open my own family day care business.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Some words of advice/encouragement that I would give to continuing students is to BE PATIENT. Nothing good usually comes out when things are rushed. Don’t worry about what others may think when it comes to how you learn and how you progress. Don’t let anyone bring you down. There are programs and services to support you every step of the way!

Mimi Orellana

Mimi OrellanaWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
I have gained knowledge beyond what is offered in the courses that you take every semester. Going to SF state has provided me with the experience of what it is like to have to balance a lot of moving factors in life. At times I felt overwhelmed, because of both school and work. However, I found that I learned to not only balance those two things but also to know when to stop and take a moment. SOAR was a key factor in this because this program and all of its faculty have taught me to ask for help when I need it. I used to think that asking for help was showing others that you were weak, but there are times when you do need help. SOAR was also the key to me planning out what I needed to take care of, and also provided me all the tools that I needed to succeed.

What are your plans following graduation?
My plans after graduation are to take a well-needed break to recharge, and also to start planning my next move to continue my education. I will be preparing to take the MCAT so that I can start applying to a medical program. I will, of course, try to start an internship so that my application for med-school is competitive. Other than that, I will be working and trying to start to pay off the school loans that I have amassed during my bachelor's degree.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Some advice that I would give to others who are continuing their education is to ask for help when they need it. Also to pace themselves when it comes to their workload because the work will always be there for them to do. Sometimes you need to take a break and take some time for yourself even if there is a lot to be done, in regards to homework or your job.

Evelen Ramirez

Evelen RamirezWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
Being a part of SOAR for all of my four years at State has taught me a lot about community. I was afraid that I was going to be alone with no one to support, moreover, guide me through University, but SOAR was there for me. It is comforting to know that I am a part of a community that has my back, and encourages me to do my best and succeed in my studies. After I graduate, I hope to take this experience with me wherever I end up, and build a community that is similar.

What are your plans following graduation?
After graduation, I plan to attend Cal State Northridge to receive my masters in public health.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
My advice for students is to not be afraid to reach out to others when you need help. Whether that be about asking for help with classes or with mental health, you are important and there are a lot of services on campus that want to help students succeed, so use your resources! It may be scary to go out of your comfort zone and ask for help, but I can definitely say it is worth it because you never know what kind of opportunities may come out of it.

Mical Woldemichael

Mical WoldemichaelWhat have you gained from your experience at SF State and/or SOAR TRIO?
SOAR has provided such a welcoming space plus incredible resources that I have utilized, such as free printing and priority registration! On top of that, the SOAR staff are super friendly and make it a community where I feel supported. Going to SF State, I am grateful  to have the opportunity to try different clubs and use various resources. I really believe that you make your experience and I have used my 4 years to push myself. From interning at HPW to being President of the Student Nutrition and Dietetics Association (SNDA), I have been able to develop my skills and confront challenges. Most of all, I am happy to have had all these learning experiences and do fulfilling work.

What are your plans following graduation?
I aim to always live in faith and my calling is music. I will continue to develop myself in every aspect to reach my potential. I want to stay involved in community nutrition, specifically, to increase low-income communities access to farmers’ markets.

What are some words of advice/encouragement that you have for continuing students at SF State?
Explore your interests and be adventurous! Be yourself and prioritize making genuine friendships and networking. Take care of yourself always :)