My Higher Ed Story

Welcome. Building onto Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's premise that we need to move beyond only knowing one version of a story — and inspired by recent online projects that highlight the stories of marginalized groups such as students with DACA status and LGBTQ youth — the Pullias Center is highlighting stories of students from varied backgrounds who currently attend or previously attended institutions of higher education in the United States. As policymakers consider the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and how to appropriate funding for higher education — and as university administrators consider how to best serve their students – we hope that reading beyond a single story will inform policy and practice in meaningful ways.

We asked contributors to reflect on a pivotal moment in their educational journey, a time when higher education let them down, and what they would like for policymakers and higher education administrators to consider moving forward.

Don’t see your story? Please email your story to add to our collection.


Pamela

I am an African-American/Black Higher Education Mother-Scholar, and an advocate for the historically marginalized doctoral experience.

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Sumaya

I am a Muslim-American woman born and raised in the U.S. who finds being a Hijabi in America a harmonious way of expressing her identity.

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Donte

I am a proud Black man, first‐generation college student, son of an incarcerated father, and child of God!

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Lila

I am a first-generation Master's student from South Central LA, daughter of immigrant parents.

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Omete

I am a young black male.

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Michelle

Yo soy una mujer Latina, orgullosa de mis raíces y mi familia. First generation U.S. college graduate, educator and artist.

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Katebah

I am a sophomore at UC Berkeley and intended Development Studies major.

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Nebula

Inspired by the scholar-activist model taught in Africana Studies, I am a Native American scholar guided by the principle that knowledge is a tool of societal transformation.

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Frisis

I am an AB540 student pursuing a higher education. I chose community college so that I could go to the school of my dreams and pursue my career in film production.

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Tony

I am a Thai-American PhD student.

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Seth

I am a Jewish-American, immigrant MD-PhD who loves nature, learns differently and has been cancer-free for over 20 years.

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Olivia

I am black, queer, Islamic woman.

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Ty

I am a first-generation, African-American, lower-middle class, urban student attending an elite, predominantly white institution in rural, central Pennsylvania.

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Edith

I am a Xicana, first-generation in the US and first-generation college student.

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Marcela

I am a queer Chicana, womyn of color, first-generation college student, and a PhD candidate.

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Teresa

I am a Michigan born Arab American studying World Politics in hopes of becoming a human rights lawyer and activist.

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Rebekahlove

"I build relationships through self-expression and artistry. I’m a self-love activist. I champion for the love of self and others."

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Demontea

I am an advocate for knowledge and family; a former foster youth destined for greatness.

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Leonel

I am a first generation, Mayan, activist, scholar, educator, doctoral student, & artist

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Felecia

I am a Black woman higher education scholar who is both a Womanist and a Christian.

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Alex

I am a first-generation Mexican college student pursing a STEM field degree.

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Udodiri

I am a Nigerian-American student.

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Aimee

I am changing the world while undocumented.

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Erica

I am a first generation, queer, gender fluid, low SES, disabled student from a single parent household.

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Anis

I am a hard-working business major who has a dream of working for a great company in the US.

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Maria

I am a Latina, woman, DREAMer, Spanish major.

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Victor

I am a first-generation college graduate, immigrant, and advocate for greater college access and completion among underrserved students.

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