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Adelante Program Pushes First-Generation College Student to Success

Ana Rivera ’11 knew of only one university during her senior year of high school. The South Bay area native immediately felt at home after she toured Loyola Marymount University’s campus.

“Even though I didn’t know how or when I was going to be able to attend LMU, I had a strong feeling this was my school,” Rivera said. “It’s like a dream come true now that I’m here.”

At the beginning of her first year of college, Rivera received a phone call from LMU's Adelante Scholars Program, a community-based learning program that helps Latino transfer students during their transition year. Jade Smith, director of Off Campus Student Life, said the program provides opportunities that will distinguish Latino students on campus and prepare them to be the next generation of leaders in the community.

As a first-generation college student, Rivera believes that the guidance the program has provided has been essential to her success. After meeting and talking with LMU faculty about her talents and passions, Rivera considered majors and programs she would have never thought to join otherwise.

“This program has helped me discover my true goals in school. Before attending LMU I had my mind set on becoming an attorney, but this program has empowered me to dream even bigger,” Rivera said.

After graduation, the political science major said she’d like to either join the Peace Corps or earn a master’s degree in Spain before pursuing a career in law or international politics.

“Everyone has the same opportunity for success in this country,” Rivera said. “No matter why or when someone immigrates to the States, they can achieve their dreams. I thank LMU and the Adelante Scholars Program for helping me to reach mine.”