Leaders are made, not born. I’m learning the meaning of this phrase as a first-generation college student at FIU. Not only am I the son of immigrant parents, I am an immigrant myself. In the process of adapting to the United States, I’ve faced countless obstacles, but my family has taught me the value of a strong work ethic and I am encouraged to challenge myself often to become a better person.

I feel honored to have been chosen as a First Generation Scholarship recipient. Because of donors like you, my dream of a college education is becoming a reality. Thank you for believing in me and supporting my career in Social Work. I plan to participate in the Peace Corps program after graduation and then pursue a Graduate Degree in the area of International Development.

When you support the First Generation Scholarship Fund, you’re making it possible for students like me to succeed, and for our vibrant, diverse community to thrive. On behalf of every First Generation Scholarship recipient, thank you! I encourage each of you to continue supporting this life-changing program.

In Panther Spirit,

Emmanuel Vega Arreola
FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work Student


More than 50% of FIU’s student body will be the first generation in their families to attain a college degree.

Your contribution to support the First Generation Scholarship Fund at FIU will be matched 100% by the State of Florida.