Miguel Velasquez ’23 is a first-generation college student as well as a first-generation American. In his short time at Adelphi University, he has proven himself to be an outstanding leader, volunteer and advocate for other children of immigrants who are the first in their family to attend college. He is a peer mentor for 25 students, offering virtual guidance through weekly emails and virtual presentations about student involvement opportunities and campus resources. An admissions ambassador, he works with Spanish-speaking applicants, answering their questions and highlighting multicultural organizations on campus. He is also a member of the Student Activities Board, winning a campus-wide Emerging Leader Award for his work promoting student involvement. Miguel is a student in Adelphi’s prestigious Levermore Global Scholars program, which prepares students to be international thinkers and leaders in a changing world. Its courses, many of which explore social constructs, identity and inequality, have inspired him to participate in peaceful demonstrations supporting Black Lives Matter and environmental action. A history major, Miguel is in Adelphi’s accelerated 4+1 Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP), pursuing a dual bachelor's and master's degree with a goal of becoming a high school history teacher.
I am a first-generation American, and that has shaped my experience and my identity. I grew up in a community where there weren’t many people like me, so I thought that struggles I had were very rare. When I got to Adelphi, I found that isn’t true. I met many other students whose parents are immigrants, and I learned that they had faced the same issues I had. Getting to know them, I realized I can offer them support they need, and my work as an ambassador in the admissions department taught me that I can help prospective students, too. The Levermore Global Scholars program at Adelphi has helped me as a leader, as a student, and as a future educator. It has inspired me to get involved in many campus organizations and to work to guide their direction. It has also inspired me to combat social injustices and taught me ways to build stronger communities on campus. As a society we have made progress in stopping injustice, but we still have a long way to go.