'Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will'

May 1, 2024


Photo by Angelique Vargas
UNM-Taos TRIO-SSS students from L-R: William Nevels, Elias Griego, Hugo Fernandez, Ashlynn Vigil, Jesyka Ortega, Vanessa Martinez and Consuelo Trujillo.

For TRIO-SSS students there are often a lot of “firsts,” especially for the First-Geners. From April 12-14, seven UNM-Taos TRIO-SSS students participated in the 2024 First Generation Student Career Leadership Experience at the Florida International Biscayne Bay campus in Miami. This student conference was created to provide first-generation students with career leadership experience geared toward helping them position themselves for career leadership success in college and beyond.

Over the three days, UNM-Taos TRIO-SSS participants William Nevels, Elias Griego, Hugo Fernandez, Ashlynn Vigil, Jesyka Ortega, Vanessa Martinez, and Consuelo Trujillo, networked with other first-generation students from around the country including other TRIO-SSS participants and programs, heard from dynamic guest speakers who were first-generation students and learned from highly successful first-generation professionals from top-tier organizations who have thrived and succeeded within their careers. Every program throughout the conference was specifically designed to meet first-generation students' career awareness, readiness and development needs in an engaging, fresh, inspirational and fun way.

For the UNM-Taos TRIO-SSS students, there were a lot of firsts to be experienced throughout this trip. For many, it was their first time flying, their first professional live baseball game (Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves), and their first time seeing the ocean (at Hollywood Beach). They also explored Miami's rich culture by walking down the historic and famous Calle Ocho, listening to live music, and trying new foods in Little Havana.

Overall, the conference was a transformative experience designed to empower first-generation students on their paths to success.

“Honestly, the trip was a wonderful experience with many eye-opening factors and big ideas. I learned so much from this experience to the point where I know what I want, and I know that I am going to work hard,” Elias shared. “There are three quotes [that were said during the conference] that will stick with me until the end of time: ‘I am no one’s Plan B. I will not be put on layaway,’ and ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will’ [speaker David Coleman, corporate trainer and leader at the 2024 First Generation Student Career and Leadership Experience and College Board leader] and ‘Think big and dream big to continue on the road to success’ [speaker Dr. Joshua Fredenburg]. With these wise words, my passion to strive for greatness has been reignited and there is nothing that will hold me from achieving my goals and pursuing my big vision. I will use this experience to keep working hard and to keep pushing forward so that I can acknowledge that I have worked my hardest to live the life I want and deserve."