'There’s a way to make everything work'
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Hometown: Chehalis, Lewis County
Plans after Graduation:Jimenez aspires to become a dentist and work with underrepresented populations in dentistry and healthcare.
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Why did you decide to go to college?
The biggest contributors were my instructors at Adna High School. My teacher, Ms. Ramirez from Adna, talked about college and asked me what I wanted to do. She’d incorporated her own stories, and through those conversations I started thinking about college.
Where did you go for support? Academically? Socially?
I went to the Tutoring Center, and utilized my instructors. Socially, I was involved in the Helping Admit New and Diverse Students (HANDS) program, I am in the pre-dental club, and now I am entering my second year of working at Student Outreach Services. Before, I didn’t feel like I had a niche. I thought about transferring to the University of Washington because I didn’t think I could manage it socially, but I got support from the SOS. The SOS completely transformed my experiences in college. It is continually progressing in a positive manner.
What was your biggest challenge in the first two years?
Adjusting socially and academically. It is a lot more rigorous here compared to the community college I attended.
What has helped you get through struggles?
My support groups, from the SOS to my family.
What have your parents done throughout your time at college? Helped?
The financial help -- my mom in particular and my extended family. Having money to do things with other students and make friends. They also have helped me emotionally. When I was thinking of transferring to the University of Washington, she was making sure I was looking for other support groups on campus.
What is your proudest achievement?
A combination of all of my experiences, which have led to my ability to not be afraid to move forward regardless of boundaries. The admission process to college was difficult to navigate and work through. Since I had experience in admission at Centralia College, I only had to learn how to navigate in the university. I found out how to reach out to people who could help me.
What tips would you give to a college freshman?
To utilize resources available, and not be afraid to ask. Know there’s a way to make everything work, financially or with grades, and if there’s a will there’s a way. Don’t let the “lows” affect your perspective. They’re temporary and you have to push through.
What have you learned in college that you will take with you after graduation?
Networking, a combination of all the skills I have acquired: using communication and personal skills, being persistent, learning and appropriately approaching obstacles. Being critical of everything I hear. Being involved, which has helped me gain friends and access to resources. It really shapes who I am and contributes to everything I have and do.
Interview by Brianna Kuplent, WWU Office of Communications and Marketing Intern