U 1.0 Spotlight!

Stephanie Narvaez
Class Year: 2021
School: Peck School of the Arts
Major: Design and Visual Communications

Meaning behind being First-Generation:

  • Both of my parents weren’t given the basic needs to finish high school, and instead put their energy into fostering children in the foster system when they married before adopting me and my siblings. When my parents had fallen sick, I took time away from school, along with my hopes of getting into college, to take care of them at home. I switched over from an IB school to online schooling while I stayed at home, and worked hard to catch up to my fellow classmates to graduate on time due to missing out on an entire semester. By graduation, both of my parents had past and I felt that although they didn’t achieve what they wanted, they gave the resources and emotional support for me to be able to pursue it. Without any guidance, I applied to five colleges and got accepted into all of them, and was determined to enter an environment I felt I would best use my maturity, determination, and mental capacity created through my early struggles with my parents and coming to acceptance of my learning styles.

Advice for other First-Generation students:

  • Never let any situation stop you from pursuing your dreams. I feel you can achieve anything with enough determination and passion geared towards it. Ask for help, stay focused, believe in yourself, and be proud of the legacy you are individually creating. Making the nontraditional a family tradition is an extraordinary accomplishment.

Favorite Resource on Campus:

  • Inclusive Excellence Center

Best Place to Study on Campus

  • Third Level of the Library

Proudest Accomplishment:

  • Keeping my head up and finding enough confidence within myself to follow a path that most frowned upon. (Own your learning style and do what is best for yourself, whether that be coming back to school after a two year break or switching from IB to online schooling)

Best Thing About UWM:

  • There’s a college within the university for every academic passion, along with resources to help you pursue it (writing center, tutoring, walk in advising hours).