Ana Maldonado – Portland State University
Ana transferred to PSU Portland Community College to finish her degree in child, youth, and family studies in order to become an elementary school teacher.
Portland State University, Class of 2020
Degree: Child Youth and Family Studies specialized in Elementary Education
Child Youth and Family Studies specialized in Elementary Education. I chose this major because I plan on becoming an elementary teacher. I also hope that while I attend grad school, I can use the CYFS degree to work with children and families, while also getting experience for when I’m able to become a teacher.
What did you think about college before you attended?
Finishing college or attaining any type of degree seemed like something impossible to achieve for a person like me. Now that I only have a year left, I can say that all the hard work has been worth it, and dreams really do come true.
How do you think being a first-generation student has affected your college experience?
Being a first-generation college student has made my college experience feel very lonely. I’m doing something that no one in my family has done before. I can’t go to my family for questions or advice when it comes to school, but I am very lucky that even though they don’t quite understand what I’m doing, they still support my goals.
What do you love about Portland State?
What I love about PSU is how united student groups are. I know that I can go to the Dreamers Club and feel welcome, I could also go to the multicultural centers and feel at home. It’s nice to know that even if I don’t know anyone in any of my classes, there are places in school where I can be with people I can relate to.
What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?
I was very involved in social justice/equity work at Portland Community college, and it had been a little scary for me to get involved at PSU since I didn’t know many people. But during spring term I decided to go to a committee meeting in which many different issues were discussed. Seeing other passionate students speaking up for equity was very impactful and gave me the confidence to continue to do equity work at PSU. I hope that I can get more involved next school year.
If you have ever attended our scholarship brunches, how did those go for you?
I loved the scholarship brunch. It’s always nice to actually meet the people who are helping make college possible for me. I couldn’t be more thankful that this scholarship cares so much about their scholar.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
Being chosen as a Renaissance Scholar has made me feel like there are people who believe in me. It has motivated me to keep chasing and working for my dreams. I always think about the fact that I’m not only doing this for me, but for the people that have believed in me like Irving and Stephanie. I don’t think that I would have been able to afford my college tuition if it wasn’t for their support.
Any advice for students applying for the Renaissance Scholars program?
The interview process can be very intimidating but be yourself. Show what you are passionate about and why. One piece of advice I got from one of my Future Connect coaches was to give examples. I also practiced answering common interview questions beforehand, which helped with my confidence once I did the real interview.