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Arizona Western College students share their first-generation stories for 'Siendo Primero' podcast

AWC student Ali Witrado.jpeg
Victor Calderón/KAWC
Arizona Western College student Ali Witrado shared her first-generation college student story for KAWC's Siendo Primero/Being First podcast.

Arizona Western College is launching a new podcast today called Siendo Primero, or Being First. You’ll hear from first-generation students at AWC who are the first in their families to attend college.

Ali Witrado and Jonathan Amaya take part in AWC’s College Assistance Migrant Program, or CAMP. According to AWC, it's a federally funded program designed to meet the needs of students with migrant or seasonal farm-working backgrounds.

Witrado said she wanted to share her story because, as a sophomore in a public high school, she was kicked out and attended an alternative high school, PPEP TEC High School in Somerton.

She said if she can make it from there to attend college at AWC, anyone can.

Amaya grew up in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico and passed the General Educational Development Test. He said he feels pressure to succeed in education because he's the oldest of six siblings.

AWC student Jonathan Amaya.jpg
Victor Calderón/KAWC
Arizona Western College student Jonathan Amaya shared his first-generation college student story for KAWC's Siendo Primero/Being First podcast.

Amaya says students like him, who are first-generation and for whom English is a second language, should just try because it is okay to hit a bump in the road as long as you get up and keep moving forward.

“Siendo Primero-Being First” has a podcast page at

The podcast can be seen on the KAWC YouTube page.

If you're a student who would like to share your story, Sign up here.

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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