UWM social work grad intends to keep beating the odds

Sandra Plascencia has faced plenty of obstacles already. Born in Mexico as the youngest of eight children, and without much financial support, she nevertheless became the first from her family to go to college.

Quickly, UWM and Milwaukee became home. The university’s clubs, events and activities helped her find friends. And studying for a semester in Spain broadened her world.

An internship at the Department of Health and Human Services in Waukesha cemented her desire to help others through social work. Even as she looks to the future, she considers the past.

“When you’re a first-generation student, this dream… it’s not just mine,” Plascencia said. “It’s of all of the people that came before me — my parents, my siblings, even my grandparents when they were raising my parents.”