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Alex Valdez ’19 First Gen Student Profile

By Nali Byrd '19 on December 13, 2017

Name: Alex Valdez

Major: Peace and Conflict Studies

Hometown: Ontario, California

What clubs are you a part of at Colgate?

I am a part of First Gen, Senate (EAC Chair), LASO (External Communicator), Quizbowl Trivia Team (Secretary), University Orchestra, SASS (VP), Link Staff, DU (SAPAS Chair).

What does being in the First Gen program mean to you?

First Gen has been one of the most important aspects of my college experience. For students like myself, coming from public high schools with more than 80% students of color, the transition to an elite, wealthy, white school like Colgate can be tough and scary. First Gen gave me time during the pre-orientation to settle in and meet other people in the same situation as me. Even now, the program provides many resources for its students, and I know I always have a community on campus to fall back on for support when I need it.

What has been your highlight of Colgate so far? 

The highlight of my Colgate career has definitely been the experience of navigating unfamiliar spaces. Knowing that I have spaces like First Gen and LASO has made me more comfortable trying things I’m unfamiliar with.

What advice would you give to younger students at Colgate?

Something I would say to younger students at Colgate is to find your balance. Find places, people, and communities that support you and make you comfortable, while also experimenting with new things. Know your limits. It took a while, but once I found my balance, my experience became much better day by day.

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