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An IU First Gen paving the way

Marisol Sanchez is paving the way as a first-generation student attending Indiana University – Bloomington. Sanchez, a 21-year-old journalism student at the Media School, is originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  

Despite being an Indiana Hoosier, she and her family have extremely close ties to their roots and other family in Guanajuato, Mexico. The time she spent in Mexico is what inspired her pursuance of a journalism career – she wants to tell the stories of Latin communities.  

This ambition has not been easy. Her father was hesitant about a career in journalism and the safety implications. Sanchez understands but still feels passionate about her goals. 

“It’s very different in Latin America, especially in Mexico where we are from,” Sanchez said. “People get killed for doing what’s right… You don’t go into this career until you’re passionate about it because you don’t really get paid good and then also people die.”  

For Sanchez, the passion she has for journalism is bigger than only her career. She has seven siblings looking up to her. Sanchez says that she has received incredible support from her family while she is receiving her education.  

“At first it was a bit of a culture shock because it’s a predominantly white school. But also, you have to find the right resources here because your family can help you as a support system, but they do not really know what to expect in college,” said Sanchez. 

One resource that transformed Sanchez’s experience was IU’s Groups Program, a scholarship program that offers academic, financial, and social support for underrepresented, first-generation students on campus.  

Sanchez plans to graduate in May and is hoping to work for a news network post-graduation.  

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