This is Frank Valdes. He is a senior and a finance major. What inspires him is his family and setting expectations for the future generations to come. This is his story.

“I took a tour of the university with my high school. After touring a couple other universities within the state, I felt the difference in how the admissions and financial aid offices treated the students here compared to other universities. That was a big factor for me, and being offered a small scholarship from the university, as a first-generation student, really made the difference. I am a Hispanic student, and with UTSA being a Hispanic Serving Institution, I have felt a lot more welcomed. That’s why I decided to come here. A part of the UTSA culture that I really enjoy is how diverse we are, to begin with, and how welcoming we are of different ideas and ways of thinking. That’s not something you would expect in this part of the country. I think awareness is something we could increase. More people would be able to identify themselves within our culture if they were more aware of what’s available.

As a first-generation student, what inspires me every day is my family. I have the opportunity to be the first in my family to set the expectations for the following generations. That’s what inspires me every day. The changes that I experienced going to school and living in Mexico to the going to school and growing up in the United States changed the way that I viewed life. Coming from a place where I didn’t take my education or future seriously, being in the United States and knowing that there are millions of people out there that would appreciate the opportunity to grow and have a family here is what made me more assertive with my life choices today.

To me, being a Roadrunner means being able to set the example. This University is turning 50 this year, which is young compared to other universities, so being able to create new traditions and set new expectations is what I believe is what it means to be a Roadrunner.”

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