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Early graduate and first-generation student on her path to medical school


Genesis Navarro is graduating with a degree in biochemistry from the School of Molecular Sciences

April 24, 2020

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

Genesis Navarro is a junior and first-generation student in Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences who will be graduating a year early this spring 2020 semester as a biochemistry major.

Navarro attended the ASU Tempe campus her first two years but is now remotely attending ASU from her home state of California. When she was on campus, she was involved in the Youth Life Group, a part of the Catholic center choir and joined Greek life. In her free time, she likes to skateboard, work out and spend time with her family.

Being an out of state student, Navarro was drawn to ASU because of the innovative aspect and the diversity it offered. She knew that she had great opportunities lined up for her at the School of Molecular Sciences. Through hard work and effort, she set a goal to complete her bachelor's degree in biochemistry, kept a positive mindset, took classes throughout her summer break and took on 18 to 21 credits per semester in order to achieve her early graduation desires.

It was at times stressful for her, especially being a first generation student, because she had to learn how to do a lot of things on her own. On top of that, her workload was also very heavy and at times became overwhelming.

Navarro like many other students faced a big obstacle: time management. She struggled balancing her time between her academics and social life. Being an online student comes with more responsibility and learning how to manage one's time is more difficult. Despite these challenges, Navarro has been able to find some helpful ways to balance both her social and academic life. She uses planners and calendars in a way that she found benefited her the most.

Navarro emphasized the importance of believing in herself and that everything she is doing is for her own benefit and will help her determine what is to come in the future. 

Question: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

Answer: I would say to put your all into school, after all, it's your priority and no one else's. What you put in will definitely determine what you get out of it, so do not take it for granted. 

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Danielle Lucero, my justice professor, has helped me uncover a passion for criminal studies. Through this class I learned that there are a lot of corrupt things in the world and we can’t do a lot to change them but we can definitely influence them. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite place on campus was the Starbucks by the Memorial Union. I would sometimes go there just to hang out because the environment was very welcoming, lively and peaceful.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I am planning on attending medical school. In May I will be taking the MCAT exam and seeing where my path leads me from there. I am planning on applying for an FBI internship, since it takes up to a year for the process. Ultimately, I have come to love both biochemistry and criminal studies, so I am going to see how everything turns out for me. However, I do know that I have a lot of options to choose from with my biochemistry degree. 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Money will not change everything … in fact, I'd say it makes things worse. One thing I would use the money for would be to distribute it out to the less fortunate students who need money to come to college. If someone has the dream to come to school but cannot because they cannot afford it, that is not fair. I would give it to students who are passionate about learning and moving forward, more first-generation students, like me. 

Written by Mariela Lozano Porras, School of Molecular Sciences communications assistant. Jenny Green contributed to the story.

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