SSS Graduate Spotlight

Ethiel Vega-Padilla, English


“I never thought that I would be able to make it to college, and when the acceptance letters started to roll in, I started to see my future unfold in front of me. UW Milwaukee wasn’t my first choice, but I’m glad I stuck with it, the summer bridge program was my first introduction as to how things were going to be. The transition process was a little tough for me but with the support of SSS I was lent the guidance needed to fully realize the student and the man that I could become. With the academic resources at their disposal, I was always put in a position to succeed; not only that but the character building that took place between my counselor and I through the long and countless discussions about my career path, about what classes I should take, about not given up on myself when things started to look bleak was something that you couldn’t learn from and a classroom. With time allotted outside of the parameters of school, things like randomly walking in without an appoint to speak to a counselor shows the flexibility that the SSS counselors gave to their students, was all part of guiding us every step of the way until we reached the finish line. A place dedicated to helping their students attain success, that success being a bachelor’s degree. SSS was the foundation that I needed to self-actualize and create the future that I needed.”

Abigail Ramirez, Social Work

Graduate photo of Abby

Originally, attending UWM wasn’t my top choice. To this day I am thankful for the SSS program that convinced me to attend a school where they support first-generation students. The SSS advisors have provided me with guidance, resources, and mentoring from the beginning to the end of my undergraduate career. I don’t regret picking UWM because I had the opportunity to learn about the Milwaukee community, grow to appreciate and be educated on becoming a great Social Worker. I was inspired by other students and professionals. I was able to experience studying abroad in Grecia, Costa Rica. I also became a founder for a multicultural sorority called Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. creating a safe space for all women.”

Nestor Murillo Barron, Accounting

Graduate photo of Nestor

The Student Support Services program provided a friendly space where I was able to connect with other students and staff. Through the program I learned the importance of making connections and I believe it was a catalyst for me joining other extra-curricular activities at UWM. I was able to join social and business groups where I made friends that encouraged me to do better in my studies and career choices.  I was also fortunate to be a scholar and advocate for the Lawton Scholars Program; here I was able to grow my mentoring skills and share my experience with other students. I’m currently an intern at an accounting firm and I will be going back to UWM in the Summer for my Master’s Degree in Professional Accounting.”