My journey through MHC as a first-generation college student

Obdulia Valle ’15, first-generation college student

Major: Latin American Studies, Italian minor

Thesis: Narcocorridos: Mexican Immigrant Women and Chicano Youth Identities (1970s to Present)

Internship: Podcasts for Peace, Nicaragua

Graduate Program: Masters of Teaching

I came to Mount Holyoke as a first-generation college student not knowing what to expect. All I knew was that I had to study hard, which I had learned from my immigrant parents who worked hard everyday to obtain stability for the family. My first semester of college, I took a class about Latin America and I realized as a Mexican-American that I did not know my own history, and the histories of other Latinos in the US. I decided to major in Latin American Studies to understand the histories that brought Latinos to the US, and to build knowledge about the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America.

I had both great academic and personal support in Mount Holyoke. My sophomore year of college, I lost my father to cancer and I remember being lost. However, I had great support from the counseling services of Mount Holyoke and I had friends that kept me strong. Also, I decided to challenge myself more academically to honor the memory of my father and decided to write a thesis. I had great academic support from my thesis committee who constantly challenged me to improve my thesis, which was frustrating at times but it made me a better writer and researcher.

Now after reaching my goal of obtaining my BA, I am still furthering my education. I am working towards obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching, at the secondary level, with an endorsement in Spanish.

I want to be a Spanish teacher to not only teach students the Spanish language, but the cultures and people that encompass this language in Latin America and the US.