Kendra Faraci

Graduating Class: 2018

Major: Education Sciences

Minors: Chicano/Latino Studies

What motivated you to pursue higher education?

I found the motivation within myself. Having worked for the beginning part of my young adult life, I wanted to ensure that I gave myself more. I began to take night classes after work and found that I really enjoyed learning again. Each class I took and completed motivated me to continue on and pursue my education. As I progressed in my academic career, I began working at Early Child Development Centers which helped to scaffold what I was learning in my human development courses. It was then that I decided that I would be a lifelong learner and never give up on my education.

What would you like to have known coming into your first year of college?

Coming into my first year of college, I wish I would have known how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I went into my first year thinking that the only thing that mattered while I was in school were my grades, and I missed out on opportunities to better myself. I wish I would have take on more opportunities to grow as an individual within the school culture, and also make more long lasting connections with my peers. Also, I would have liked to know more of the resources that were available on campus that would have benefited me not only academically but also socially.

What was a challenge you faced as a first generation college student and how did you overcome it?

As a first generation college student, I faced the challenging task of combining my academic and personal life. It was difficult to come in as a student whose family did not understand the work load and time I had to invest into school in order to succeed academically. As a scholar, I did well. But as a daughter, cousin, and niece I was told that I did not care enough because I was not spending time with my family. It made me feel as if I was not doing enough. I was able to overcome challenges when I stopped trying to separate my two worlds, and instead integrated my family into my academic life. I became more aware of their point of view, and let them in on what I was working on and what tasks needed to be completed.

What was a resource that helped you navigate UCI?

The Student Success Initiatives and Transfer Hub helped me to navigate UCI. Before beginning as a Peer Educator at the Hub, I went in every week to catch up with friends, talk with the peer educators, and to get coffee. It was at the center where I felt that I could be myself and be a part of the school community. As my junior year progressed, I began to learn about the various resources on campus through the hub. The peer educators taught me how to manage my time, interact with professors, and practice self-care, which in turn helped me to become a better student.