As a first-generation student, Ivan Acosta has let nothing stand in his way from getting involved and pursuing a double degree. His first degree is in social sciences and his second is in Spanish. The Spanish degree started off as only his minor, but he soon felt it was necessary for him to pursue. By getting a double degree he feels like a lot more doors will be open to him the future. To replace his Spanish minor, Acosta picked up a minor in humanities.
This double degree didn’t stop Acosta from being involved in campus activities as well as holding many different positions around campus. These positions included being part of the PLUS Team, Multicultural Student Union (MSU), Multicultural Student Services and Programs (MSSP), and participating as a Summer Bridge participant, adviser, and lead tutor. There isn’t a position that he wasn’t glad he at least tried and to all those who are out there an unsure on how to get involved Acosta would encourage them to attend meetings for lots of different things. Acosta believes that if you do this you will find a place that you feel like you fit.
He came directly from high school to WOU after receiving the Diversity Commitment Scholarship. Acosta assured that he wouldn’t have had it any other way. The faculty and staff here are all highly dedicated to their students and it shows. With all of the thing that Acosta has been involved in, his advisor in MSSP, Anna Hernandez-Hunter left the biggest impact. Her door was always open and she was always willing to help and call you out when you were being lazy. She help push Acosta to get involved and helped him with applications for jobs along the way.
Acosta already has something most college students only dream of, a job already lined up as an admin counselor at Clackamas Community College. This position will also allow him to be nearer to home so he can spend more time with his family. Acosta will get to do something he already loved doing, while working at the admissions office here on the Western Oregon University (WOU) campus, provide high school students with more information on the possibilities college could hold for them. His hope is to provide them with the tools to get into college and broaden their scope on the world.
Graduation means breaking through all of the obstacles that stand in the way. Acosta pointed out that being a first generation student meant that journey through college was so much more than just his personal one, his family had to learn as well. He couldn’t go home every weekend, due to work and schoolwork, but it was worth it. The connections that he made here and all of the people he is grateful to be a part of his supporting network will only aid him in the future.
Congratulations to Ivan Acosta, Western Oregon University Class of 2017! Good luck and may the journey ahead be a fun one!