First generation student finds success at CSU

Maggie Parsons

I owe my success at Colorado State University to the wonderful staff and the flexible Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Degree Program.  As a First Generation Scholar, graduating from college is a milestone and way for me to honor my ancestors.

My parents divorced the summer of my senior year of high school. That summer, I couldn’t imagine how I would afford college. However, my First Generation Advisor, Barbara Musslewhite, reached out and restored my hope. By offering me a scholarship, she made it possible for me to attend my dream school. Through Barbara I was also introduce to a community of First Generation Scholars who supported me throughout my undergraduate journey.

My time at CSU hasn’t always been easy. My sophomore year I was enjoying life on campus as a Resident Assistant in Braiden Hall, when my family decided to move out of state. As someone whose family means everything to them, I knew I would  be moving with them. Still, I never thought I would leave CSU before I graduated.  Feeling helpless, I sought out my Advisor, Jesse Stewart. We discussed my options for a dual major and possible graduation dates. I couldn’t see myself finishing up my degree anywhere but CSU. Jesse, along with Carmody Leerssen, worked  to put together a degree program that allowed me to complete my degree online. My online program allowed me to stay  connected to my ram family and my real family.

If it weren’t for the great people who advised and supported me throughout my academic career and the flexibile Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Degree Program, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I currently live with my family in Florida and finishing up my Colorado State University degree online. I also work for a prestigious law firm and take introductory law school courses at a local university. The flexible degree programs and wonderful staff at CSU have created so many opportunities for me. I am forever grateful.

Katie Simota contributed to this story. 

More Stories