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Full-Text Articles in Creative Writing

Live. Tell. Resist., Angel Vazquez, Kyle Liang, Anthony Zelaya-Umanzor, Rosie Mejia, Patricia Gutierrez, Kayla Hampton, Mariacarolina Gomez, Melissa Martinez-Sanchez, Harman Brah, Victoria Arevalo, Tyra Cecilio, Dion Dang, Camila De Pierola, Noemi Fernandez Luna, Isabelle Marin, Mackenzie Mead, Jason Munoz, Daniel Penuela, Andrei Pineda, Patrick Pozon, Larissa Ramirez, Jasmine Segovia, Julien Stone Zachary, Aira Wada, Jiaxing Yu, Ariana Siordia, Jazmin Quezada Jun 2017

Live. Tell. Resist., Angel Vazquez, Kyle Liang, Anthony Zelaya-Umanzor, Rosie Mejia, Patricia Gutierrez, Kayla Hampton, Mariacarolina Gomez, Melissa Martinez-Sanchez, Harman Brah, Victoria Arevalo, Tyra Cecilio, Dion Dang, Camila De Pierola, Noemi Fernandez Luna, Isabelle Marin, Mackenzie Mead, Jason Munoz, Daniel Penuela, Andrei Pineda, Patrick Pozon, Larissa Ramirez, Jasmine Segovia, Julien Stone Zachary, Aira Wada, Jiaxing Yu, Ariana Siordia, Jazmin Quezada

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This edition of First-Gen Voices features the stories and work of 24 first-generation college students at multiple higher education institutions. The aim is to disseminate a story about us, for us, and consequently, the dominant cultures that have yet to learn from our power.


Dignidad, Poder, Resistencia // Dignity, Power, Resistance, Michael Munoz, Alanis Gonzalez, Tallie Spencer, Isabelle Marin, Lesly Juarez, Christopher Reynoso, Antonia Garcia, Abigail Goad, Athena Martinez, Ruth Gomez, Angel Vazquez, Jazmin Quezada, Jasmine Segovia, Jordyn Wedell, Yulisa Gonzalez, Laura Mena Hernandez, Keiri Fernandez Jun 2017

Dignidad, Poder, Resistencia // Dignity, Power, Resistance, Michael Munoz, Alanis Gonzalez, Tallie Spencer, Isabelle Marin, Lesly Juarez, Christopher Reynoso, Antonia Garcia, Abigail Goad, Athena Martinez, Ruth Gomez, Angel Vazquez, Jazmin Quezada, Jasmine Segovia, Jordyn Wedell, Yulisa Gonzalez, Laura Mena Hernandez, Keiri Fernandez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

First To Go Abroad" is a partnership between the Loyola Marymount University First To Go Program, LMU Study Abroad, and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), which seeks to increase study abroad opportunities for first-generation college students. In May 2017, fifteen first-gen students and two first-gen faculty mentors traveled together to Santiago, Dominican Republic, where they spent ten days exploring the country and learning about the local cultures, customs, and histories of the people who call the DR home.

Travel is a privilege not all students have the same access to; for some students, this trip was the first ...


Stephanie Smile, Stephanie Monique Smith Aug 2016

Stephanie Smile, Stephanie Monique Smith

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

A young African American girl struggled to stay socially afloat in a predominantly white private school. Longing for a connection with a community of black scholars in college, she surprisingly grew very intimidated of her own people. Not only was she stuck in this limbo, but she felt insecure and unconfident transitioning to a four-year university as the first in her family. After finishing her first year and returning from her first study abroad trip to the Dominican Republic, Stephanie reflects on her journey in education, pursuing her dreams, and coming into her own as a young woman.


What Keeps Me Going, Marco Ramirez Aug 2016

What Keeps Me Going, Marco Ramirez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Marco Ramirez has made it halfway through his college career. It hasn’t been the easiest for him, but something has helped him to keep pushing forward. As he reflects on his life, Ramirez is reminded what that something is: his love for his family and his passion for theme parks.


Border Living, Michelle Quintero Aug 2016

Border Living, Michelle Quintero

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

As a Colombian-American, Michelle Quintero experiences the challenge of border living when she travels to Colombia after a long wait of ten years. She is faced with the struggle of feeling like an outcast in her own home. After numerous times of trying to fit into one culture, she realizes that she does not need to label herself with just one identity.


¿Oportunidad O Desafío?, Katherine Gissel Pichardo Guillen Aug 2016

¿Oportunidad O Desafío?, Katherine Gissel Pichardo Guillen

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Para los estudiantes de primera generación la universidad no solo representa una oportunidad de estudio, también representa un desafío, para Katherine Pichardo estudiante de primera generación la universidad ha sido todo una aventura, una montaña rusa de sentimientos y experiencias que comparte en este ensayo.


Shopping With Shannon, Kay Hampton Aug 2016

Shopping With Shannon, Kay Hampton

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Throughout her first two years at Loyola Marymount University, Kay Hampton has struggled with feelings of isolation and loneliness due to her unique college experience. Working to put herself through college has polarized her from her fellow classmates. Fortunately, her mentor unintentionally changed her perspective of her journey for the better by sharing her story.


The Border Between Us, Cindy Dominguez Aug 2016

The Border Between Us, Cindy Dominguez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In a trip to the Mexican-American border, Cindy Dominguez comes face to face with the wall that separates thousands of families and is responsible for many deaths of those seeking better lives. Through this encounter, she recollects her own experience with immigration and reflects upon how much her life has changed. Reminiscing about her childhood in El Salvador, Dominguez comes to terms with her how her past has influenced her goals as a first-generation college student.


Nunca Será Imposible Algo Que Realmente Deseas, Leidy Mariel Cruz Vásquez Aug 2016

Nunca Será Imposible Algo Que Realmente Deseas, Leidy Mariel Cruz Vásquez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

With only a few months to go until her graduation from a prestigious Dominican university, first-generation college student Leidy Cruz reflects on her humble origins, and considers the drive and determination that have led her to the point of accomplishing her goals.


My Road To Success, Greylin Corona Estévez Aug 2016

My Road To Success, Greylin Corona Estévez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Ana Laura is a young Latin girl with a strong desire to learn and get an education. This attitude has made her develop a personality that is not very accepted among those around her. With the constant feeling of not belonging, she never stops until she finds herself graduated from high school. In this stage of her life, she struggles between the two ideas of success handed down to her by her parents—one is getting money; the other is getting an education. She continues until she sees herself with her degree in her hand and a grateful heart.


Fear, Megan Castillo Aug 2016

Fear, Megan Castillo

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In this narrative, author Megan Castillo recounts her experiences growing up as a child. She expounds on the challenges she faced while struggling with the idea of overcoming her fears. However, after traveling to a new country for the very first time, Megan Castillo realized that through education and gaining knowledge, the possibilities were infinite.


Butterflies, Adinah Bolden Aug 2016

Butterflies, Adinah Bolden

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Adinah Bolden is a Los Angeles-based graduate of Loyola Marymount University. She is a pop culture and history loving cynic who has overcome adversity in many matters to work toward leading a fulfilling and exciting post-graduate life. Like many young adults, Bolden has struggled with labels, identity, and personal growth, which she addresses in this narrative. On this First To Go Abroad trip to the Dominican Republic, she deeply identified with the symbol of the butterfly, which represents an opposition to political tyranny, racial imperialism, and national injustice.


American Vampires, Adinah Bolden Aug 2016

American Vampires, Adinah Bolden

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Adinah Bolden is a Los Angeles-based graduate of Loyola Marymount University. She is a pop culture and history loving cynic who has overcome adversity in many matters to work toward leading a fulfilling and exciting post-graduate life. As a part of her participation in a 2016 First To Go Abroad trip to the Dominican Republic, she was required to visit an outdoor vegetable and meat market. She received five mosquito bites in the process.


A Trip Through Space And Time, Alvaro Gonzalez Jun 2016

A Trip Through Space And Time, Alvaro Gonzalez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Alvaro Gonzalez tells his personal narrative through an omniscient third person narrator. Gonzalez takes the audience on a journey through space and time to Mexico, the San Fernando Valley, and Downtown Los Angeles as he identifies important moments that shaped his life.


Running The System: From The 661 To The 310, Alexis Hall Jun 2016

Running The System: From The 661 To The 310, Alexis Hall

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

The title, “Running the System: From the 661 to the 310” refers to former LMU Basketball Coach Paul Westhead’s run ‘n gun style of play, and the area codes of Palmdale and West Los Angeles. In her narrative, Alexis Hall finesses the connection between her preeminent past and promising present. The narrative tips off with Hall illustrating her upbringing and the lessons learned that come to symbolize her being. She then slams and jams through moments of time in her life that proved to be game changers. However, once the arena is empty and the fans are all gone ...


Voices To Truth America! Exploring Hapa-Ish, Jonathan Ishii Jun 2016

Voices To Truth America! Exploring Hapa-Ish, Jonathan Ishii

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In his narrative, author Jonathan Ishii delves into the experience of growing up as a hapa. This narrative reflects on some past building events and realizations, as well as his search for identity and drive for success. Ishii provides a glimpse into his life through various experiences and his discovery of identities in Los Angeles and abroad.


Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, Shawn Jones Jun 2016

Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, Shawn Jones

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

A daughter’s love, and a mother’s absence—that is the theme the author, Shawn Jones, shares in her bittersweet story. This narrative reflects on the challenges, conflicts, and feelings that a child goes through when coping with not having a mother physically present. Jones describes how as a child she saw things a lot differently compared to her thoughts now as a young woman. She struggles with the idea of accepting her situation and resenting the mother who brought her life. However, through the help of her family, she realizes that she is no different than those she ...


Stuck In The Middle, Loreto Lopez Jun 2016

Stuck In The Middle, Loreto Lopez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

After a trip to Mexico for her cousin’s wedding in February 2016, Loreto Lopez gets consumed by her thoughts and experiences of being a Mexican-American. Through her experiences in Guanajuato, memories of her adolescence are triggered as she contemplates what her life has been like as a first-generation student living in Los Angeles. She realizes that her circumstances have left her feeling not completely American nor Mexican. By writing her narrative, Lopez attempts to find out what to do when she feels she is stuck in the middle between two different worlds.


Mind Full: A Journey To Find Inner Peace, Emely Luna Jun 2016

Mind Full: A Journey To Find Inner Peace, Emely Luna

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This narrative explores the struggles to find balance and peace within an uneasy mind. During her time abroad, Emely Luna was able to grow in self-awareness and strength after dealing with feelings of anxiety and depression. Through a practice of meditation she was able to find the healing power in mind and body and unite them to liberate herself from the constraints of negative thoughts and create a stronger self identity.


First To Everything, Sarah Poblano Jun 2016

First To Everything, Sarah Poblano

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Sarah Poblano is a first generation sophomore Sociology major from Glendale, California. As the eldest sister of three, she struggles to find her place at Loyola Marymount University as well as keep her place at home. With symptoms of culture shock and imposter syndrome, she realizes the realities of being a First To Go student. However, recognizing her privilege as a student at LMU, she is determined to honor the many sacrifices that were made that got her to where she is now.


There Is Beauty In Struggle, Brenda Quintanilla Jun 2016

There Is Beauty In Struggle, Brenda Quintanilla

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

“There is Beauty in Struggle” tells the story of a young woman trying to navigate the world while having certain circumstances pull her back from reaching her dreams. These stories show the development of growing up, learning to accept the struggles one goes through, and learning to use those struggles as a catalyst for change. The narrative begin with Brenda Quintanilla living in El Salvador, then immigrating to the United States at the age of eight, and having to adapt to American society when clearly she is not welcomed here. This narrative explores the way in which Quintanilla finally came ...


Wanting Out, Melissa Sandoval Jun 2016

Wanting Out, Melissa Sandoval

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Melissa Sandoval struggled to find her identity and feel a sense of belonging growing up as a U.S. citizen and being raised by parents who migrated from Mexico. Her story consists of different events in her life that have made her feel unwanted by the Mexican and American cultures she has been exposed to. What Melissa realizes as a college student is that she must find a way to live with her struggles and embrace who she is and where she belongs.


Faceless Sculpture, Carla Ventura Jun 2016

Faceless Sculpture, Carla Ventura

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

After embarking on her college career, Carla Ventura is forced to come to terms with an internal war. She reconciles her battles with depression, suicidal loss, and addiction, as she learns to reconnect with her inner child. Throughout all her semesters in college, she eventually begins to open a dialogue with herself and others in an attempt to resuscitate her childhood dream.


The City From Above, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras May 2016

The City From Above, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

The city of Tijuana, Mexico has become a second home to many LMU students through programs like De Colores, which introduce students to issues of immigration, poverty, and education. The city varies from L.A.-style skyscrapers and paved roads to shacks along dirt paths. This image shows some of the diversity and growth of the city as it continues to develop, and provides a different perspective on the crowded communities that make up Tijuana.


Tourist To My Own Culture, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras May 2016

Tourist To My Own Culture, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

After nine years of living in the U.S. and staying away from her cultural homeland of Mexico, photographer Astorga returned to some of the places she remembered visiting as a child in her native country. Throughout the trip, the unthinkable change from intimacy to unfamiliarity was clear. These pictures show that progression and invite the viewer to become a tourist alongside Astorga as she visits a place she once considered home.


Only 45 Minutes Away, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras May 2016

Only 45 Minutes Away, Guadalupe Astorga Contreras

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Being a part of an immigrant family, photographer Astorga has not had the chance to travel much even within her home state of California. Trips through class, clubs and events sponsored by Loyola Marymount University have provided her with the opportunity to visit places like Catalina Island right off the coast of L.A. and see things she and her family had only talked and dreamed of.


Hereisthefamilymotherfatherdickandjane: An Analysis Of Parenting And The Dick And Jane Readers In Morrison’S The Bluest Eye, Rachel Roseman May 2016

Hereisthefamilymotherfatherdickandjane: An Analysis Of Parenting And The Dick And Jane Readers In Morrison’S The Bluest Eye, Rachel Roseman

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

First-generation college student Rachel Roseman has found the American educational and cultural systems to privilege the white, upper to middle classes. As Toni Morrison demonstrates in The Bluest Eye, those who do not fit this mold often lack educational support and have to learn how to navigate cultural systems on their own. Unlike the character of Pecola, who features in the following essay, Roseman had a strong community and family who supported her decision to attend college and, as a result, achieved success.


Twisted Little Braids: Rage And Resistance, Alexia F. Pineda May 2016

Twisted Little Braids: Rage And Resistance, Alexia F. Pineda

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Anger, resistance, and the first-generation, Chicana experience is alive. When its speaks, it spills out truth. Higher education? It's time to make space for us.


Espacios Alternativos, Alternate Spaces, Alexia F. Pineda May 2016

Espacios Alternativos, Alternate Spaces, Alexia F. Pineda

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In this essay, Pineda demonstrates that by employing Chicana spirituality and drawing from the courage it can generate, first-generation college students can deepen their political leadership and artistic liberation.


Understanding School, Tiffany P. Ta May 2016

Understanding School, Tiffany P. Ta

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

As a first-generation college student in the Silicon Valley, author Tiffany Ta grew up in a high-achieving academic culture that she only really began to unpack and understand in college. Upon being exposed to more diverse cultures and backgrounds, Ta began to realize that her upbringing was vastly different than many others, and that some of her classmates' behaviors were unnatural. This poem reflects how she now feels about the experience looking back.