Latina first-generation college students draw on lessons, mentor others

Noemi Rodriguez, 21, aspires to make an impact in her community through her work after college. But as she maneuvers through her final year at the University of California, San Diego, balancing school, work and commuting has been an ongoing challenge.

“My mom had told me from the beginning, ‘If you want to go to school, it’s going to be on your own account,'” said Rodriguez, who’s worked part-time at Jamba Juice while going to school full time and taking on a second job in the summer to help pay for tuition and cover some of the family’s bills.

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