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National First Generation Student Day    

November 8, 2018


Maritime Administration major Jesus Castro '20 and Marine Biology major Cidney Cardenas '20. Photo Credit: Jesus Castro and Cidney Cardenas

By Alexandria O’Brien, Student Enrollment Services

Today is National First Generation Student Day, when universities across the country come together to celebrate the presence, experiences and successes of our first generation students.

We would like to highlight two first generation Aggies: Maritime Administration major Jesus Castro '20 and Marine Biology major Cidney Cardenas '20.

Jesus Castro '20

With much encouragement from his family, Jesus made the decision to be the first to pursue higher education in order to have job security and financial stability in the future.

Incredibly active on campus, Jesus is the Secretary of the Student Association of Latino Leaders TAMUG, a member of the Sea Aggie Band, and the Student Coordinator for the office of the Chief Operating Officer. He is also involved with SALT Camp, New Student Conference, Coastal College and many more on-campus organizations and societies.

Jesus has always had a great interest in the shipping industry, as well as the logistics involved. He knew TAMUG's Maritime Administration degree would be the perfect route for him to pursue his passion and make it into a career.

When asked his thoughts on the term “first-generation college student” Jesus says 'responsibility’ comes to mind; responsibility not just for working hard in school, but to set a good example for younger siblings and future children.

“When you decide to go to college, you set a new standard.”

Cidney Cardenas '20

Cidney Cardenas ’20 is a Marine Biology major and Maritime Administration minor at Texas A&M Univeristy at Galveston, and is considering Oceans & Coastal Resources as an additional major.

Since the young age of 10, she has always been passionate about marine biology and hopes to one day earn her doctoral degree.

Born in South Texas, Cidney spent the first few years of her childhood here in the United States before moving to Switzerland for her teenage years. She always considered Texas her true home, so choosing Texas A&M Galveston Campus was an easy decision for her.

“Not only was I drawn to TAMUG for its undergraduate research, but also for the positive and kind attitude held here.”

In addition to being a student ambassador, Cidney is also involved in SALT Camp, as well as Aggie Sportsman – an outdoor organization which she initiated on campus.

For Cidney, the term “first-generation college student” brings to mind the words ‘driven’ and ‘focused’.

She is extremely grateful for the encouragement of her family and for the perspective they have given her about college. Her advice to other first-generation college students is, “If you find your passion, stick with it!”

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