First generation graduates look for new opportunities

Arely Infante, Diversity Editor

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Diversity of students roam throughout Baton Rouge High and sometimes those differences are not seen because of the similar setting and hobbies we share with one another. For some seniors this year graduation is especially special for them and their family. Being a first-generation high school graduate means you are the first in your family or household to graduate high school. Seniors Carlos Alvarado and Nhung Ngo are only two seniors who are first generation high school graduates.

Alvarado arrived to the United States at the age of 5 from El Salvador. He is the oldest and has two younger sisters who are 12 and 3. He attended La Bell Aire elementary and later attended McKinley Middle Magnet. Freshman year was especially tough for him due to the big changes. His parents are supportive and see him graduating high school as a great accomplishment and hope that he will continue to do better.

“It was hard getting use to the changes such as all the various classes and clubs that became available, but it was still kind of fun.” The most enjoyable moments for him has been making friends that he never thought he would make and getting the best education he can get at the same time.

“Surviving Baton Rouge High has been one of my accomplishments and I plan to go to LSU and study psychology,” he hopes both of his little sisters are inspired by him and graduate high school as well.

He acknowledges that he has better opportunities career wise than his parents and is very grateful that has is able to finish through one of many milestones. “I hope with this I really inspire them (his sisters) to graduate, it’s really important.”

The other senior who is also a first-generation graduate is Nhung Ngo. Nhung Ngo arrived to the United States from Vietnam at only 9 years old. She attended La Bell Aire elementary and Sherwood middle magnet. Ngo learned English faster than others due to school, she was surrounded by the language and was to speak it at school.

Ngo has two siblings one who is 7 and one who is 9. She helps both with school work due to her parents not speaking the English language at its full potential.

Nhung will attend LSU and plans to double major in Pre-med and art-design. She wants to make her parents happy since they did not get the same opportunity that she does now. “They’re really happy I’m the first to graduate high school on both my mom’s and dad’s side, they’re really excited and that makes me happy.

One of her biggest accomplishments has been being in Key Club and helping many people. “It makes me happier to be able to help someone than if I had straight A’s,” says Ngo. The hardest part of high school has been juggling all the different responsibilities that come with high school. Ngo alike to Alvarado says that the most enjoyable part of high school has been making friends.

Being a first-generation graduate has helped both students understand that they have advantages that their parents never had. They say they are both very grateful and hope to take advantage of all the education they have and will receive. “My parents wants us (Ngo and siblings) to succeed, they know I change my mind a lot about majors, but it makes me happy that they’re happy.”

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