First generation UNK student strives to inspire other minority students

Published: Oct. 12, 2018 at 6:06 PM CDT
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A UNK student who comes from an immigrant family is fulfilling his dreams of becoming a teacher and helping others.

Odwuar Quiñonez spent the first half of his life in Guatemala. His parents sent him to the United States for a better life and learn English.

He always had the goal of attending college and now is dedicated to getting involved. Now at UNK, he is active in over seven organizations on top of being in theater and a full time student.

“I kind of want to tell all those students that are thinking of coming to college not to give up because there are many students that do not come to college because they say 'oh I have to help my parents with certain task',” Quiñonez said.

Quiñonez said he also struggled with leaving his mother and sister to go to college, but says they have supported his decision.

Due to his dedication of making an impact on campus, the school even named him homecoming king.

“When they announced my name there was tears coming out of my eyes because I was so shocked,” Quiñonez said. “My whole family was in the audience and they were like yelling my name.”

He says his family is proud of him for working towards his goals of being a teacher and an actor. Quiñonez plans to one day teach math to elementary students as he works to be an actor in a major city.

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