First-Generation College Celebration: A social Q&A with a CSU student

Sunday, Nov. 8, is National First-Generation College Celebration, a day established by the Council for Opportunity in Education and the Center for First-generation Student Success to recognize the success of first-generation college students.

To celebrate the day, meet first-generation college student Kathryn Quintero — from Glenwood Springs, Colorado — a fourth-year hospitality management major minoring in business administration.

Kathryn Quintero
Kathryn Quintero

Q: Why did you choose to go to CSU?

A: When I was in high school, a representative from CSU was at a college fair and shared with me all the resources for first-generation students. It was intimidating because CSU is three times the size of my hometown, so I wanted to go somewhere I could find help and feel valued.

Q: What does it mean to be a first-generation college student?

A: It means doing something no one in my family has done before. I’m proud of myself, and I’m fortunate to have a family who is willing to make sacrifices. My success is their success, and it’s a monumental thing in my family.

Q: What made you want to attend college?

A: I’ve always had a passion for learning as much as I can about as much as I can. Going to CSU, a community with so many diverse people, stories and backgrounds, has been so valuable. I ask myself, “Am I doing the right thing?” It’s a lot of pressure being a first-generation student, and I’m doing this to make my family proud. I remind myself I’m finding my passion here, and that’s what my family wants for me.

Q: What are your involvements at CSU?

A: I’m president of the CSU Hospitality Management Club. I am also on the Dean’s Leadership Student Council and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for @CSUHealthHumanSci, and I am a CHHS senator at ASCSU.

Q: What’s inspired you to get involved with so much?

A: COVID inspired me to get involved because I wanted to remain connected with people, even in a virtual sense.

Q: What made you choose your major?

A: In hospitality management, we learn so much about food, safety and where it comes from. I’d love to help people with allergies in an event-planning space. One of my loved ones has a life-threatening allergy, and I want to help people like him.

Q: Favorite CSU memory?

A: The first football game my first year was a great way to start my college experience. I made some great friends and felt an amazing sense of community.

Q: Advice to incoming or new students?

A: Don’t be afraid to take the time to find your passion. It can feel like you need to have your entire life figured out, but take your time.

Q: Describe CSU in 10 words or less (or your experience at CSU).

A: Eye-opening — exposed me to things that I wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.