By Valerie Quintana

Being born and raised in San Antonio has a lot of perks we have the best tacos,the best basketball team and an incredible University-UTSA. It also is a great city for opportunity with my mother migrating from Mexico just by herself at 16 and my dad leaving his small town in West Texas, they represent what this community can truly do for the people.

With the creation of this Center, UTSA is directly assisting families like mine and students like me. Al- though their services that will be offered in this Center are still being determined, I am especially excited about the potential for offering Westside students counseling on College admissions and preparations. This was a huge concern for not only myself but many of my peers growing up in San Antonio. Being a first-generation college student, I wasn’t even sure what a financial aid form was or what colleges were looking for in an es- say. On top of not knowing what things were, I also had no idea where to seek help. Some high schools had a University Center where we could take test on what major would be the best fit for us.

But this skipped all the steps between finding out the average price of a textbook and actually receiving an acceptance letter. Because of this lack of experience and the overwhelming amount of steps needed to apply, it was significantly harder for my peers to begin their higher education journeys, and many of them decided the whole endeavor was just too overwhelming. I was one of the lucky ones who found a path forward to college and I believe that this Center has the potential to help others like me do the same. As a Roadrunner, I am very proud to see UTSA opening this Center and making a firm commitment to partner with the WestSide Community, where so many in my family live and work. I can hardly wait to see the connections between UTSA and the Westside grow and flourish in the years to come.

Family Fun at the Arafat Shrine Circus