I am a first-generation student planning to enroll in a Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) or Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program after my undergraduate studies in communication. My father held a 6th grade education, and while he was extremely well-read and intelligent, he did not have confidence in the educational system, which is an idea I carried myself for many years. That all changed drastically 5 years ago when I decided on a whim one week before Christmas that I would enroll in community college come January. After working entry-level jobs for nearly 8 years in non-profit, I determined that school was my ticket to personal success. So I enrolled and initially was afraid that I'd do poorly and fade into the background because that was my only experience as a student. But I found a way to quiet that voice and created an entirely new experience and image of myself as a competent student leader. I still believe that the institution of formal and higher education is not as sensitive to the needs of marginalized groups, but having our voices in the classroom and not being afraid to use them is one way of making our presence known and changing the status quo in such institutions. While I enrolled in undergraduate studies for myself, my reason for pursuing a graduate education in policy and/or public interest law is to give back to my neighbors. My ultimate goal is to play my part in supporting working-class people and their aspirations with dignity and heart.