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Max

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So far, Marquette, I'm going to say, is not what I expected. It's a lot better than what I expected. It's just a great experience. Hi. My name is Max Hernandez. I'm a freshman studying civil engineering from Dallas, Texas.

Being a first generation means being someone who is setting something forward for other people, especially from my family. I have a younger sibling, and he wants to go to college now that I am here. I remember when I went back home for the first time, I had my Marquette sweater. And he basically took it off of me and started wearing it all over the house. He ever wore it to school. He started saying he wanted to go to Marquette.

And I remember being in my high school, [inaudible] Dallas. Most of our students are [inaudible] as well. And I know every single time that I go back home and I go visit the school, I'm always getting messages. I'm always seeing people saying, hey, how's college? And that just motivates me to know that there's multiple people who are supporting me in my college process, but it's also motivating me to know that there's people looking up to me. And that's is something you wouldn't expect from a college freshman.

So at Marquette, I am a part of the Living-Learning Community for engineering. I have a group of at least 90 people who I live with who I could connect to who are also engineers, from having multiple friends that I could go talk to whenever I need anything, to the basketball games, to being able to work and then be a student, to be able to do a bunch of things that I never imagined that I was going to be able to do.

And my parents, they're so proud of me. I know they worked so hard to come to the United States to give me this opportunity. And I am, hopefully, to their eyes, I'm taking this opportunity they gave me and using it as a stepping stone to get where I want to be.

So for Marquette, their motto is "be the difference." And I want to embody that "be the difference" motto as well, whether it be the difference at Marquette, be the difference in Milwaukee, be the difference in Dallas, be the difference in wherever I go. And I want to show people that even though the odds are against you, you can always prevail.

You could always make your dream come true. You have to protect the dream, and you have to do whatever you can at all costs to do that, and that's what being the difference is for me, to make the people around me know that they can do it as well.

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