First generation college graduate wants to help younger generations

Fernando Cordova graduated from UTSA and wants to go into teaching or work in college

Fernando Cordova is a first-generation college student and reflects on his journey and future.

SAN ANTONIO – Fernando Cordova is a first-generation college student and reflects on his journey and future.

“Looking back at four years ago Fernando, I was really out of high school. I was like, I don’t want to go to college. It’s just going to be too hard for me. And like literally on Saturday I graduate and it makes me so happy,” Cordova said.

Cordova recently graduated from the University at Texas San Antonio, with a bachelor’s degree in art and interdisciplinary studies.

As a first-generation college student, Cordova said his family was his motivation.

“My parents are from Ecuador. They migrated to the United States when they were 18. You know, they first came in with nothing,” Cordova said.

Cordova got his associate’s of arts and teaching degree from Northwest Vista College and then transferred to UTSA in 2019, where he was awarded the Terry Scholarship.

“(It) covered my cost of tuition, my housing, my books, my school supplies,” Cordova said.

The 23-year-old said at UTSA, he found a support system that changed his life.

“I contemplated in the beginning dropping out. But of course, I reached out to other mentorship opportunities like the First Generation Transfer Student Center. And that’s where I kind of felt my that’s where I found my niche, my community,” said Cordova.

He has a peer mentor guide him and that led him to success.

As he enters a new chapter in his life, Cordova wants to help other students.

“I really like helping students navigate college because I’ve been so lucky to have a lot of mentors in my life, and I want to be that mentor to other students as well,” Cordova said.

Cordova wants to go into teaching, or work at UTSA.

His advice to students is to ask questions and get involved in organizations in college.


About the Author:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.