1st-generation college student from Hopi reservation earning degree with ASU Online
MyPath2ASU simplifies transfer process for rural students
First-generation and MyPath2ASU transfer student Angelica Abeita never imagined that she would be a member of the All-Arizona Academic Team as a student at Arizona State University. Growing up on the Hopi reservation, Abeita’s inspiration for attending college was her eldest sister, Amelda.
“(She) and I were 12 years apart but made up for those years with our super glue-like sisterly bond. She always talked about her college days ... how she enjoyed the program she was in, the classes she had and the people she met. My sister helped me get through so many obstacles in my life with her advice and was the biggest supporter in my choice of going to college.”
Abeita began her studies at Northland Pioneer College because of the proximity, affordability and small class size.
“I felt I was able to have more student-professor communications in all my classes, and it was a way for me to get the experience of what college would be like. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but now that I look back, community college was a great choice in helping me to get where I am today.”
Abeita suffered the loss of her sister a year later and stopped attending school. After taking some time to heal, she graduated in May 2022 with her associate degree in business administration.
“Through my schooling, I’ve dedicated each accomplishment to my sister because that helped me feel she was right beside me, celebrating the moment.”
Abeita said the MyPath2ASU pathway program supported her throughout her transfer journey.
“MyPath2ASU helped in the application process, ensuring that the business program was right for me. I was provided with detailed information about the program and was able to schedule appointments via phone and zoom. MyPath2ASU made it easy for me to submit my application because I was guided through the process the entire way.”
She plans to use her degree to pursue a career in the human resources field and hopes to one day to become a director of human resources.
“My passion is helping and being a resource to employees and the public,” Abeita said. “I feel that with my knowledge in business administration, I can help make working environments better for employees.”
Even before graduation, Abeita said she found the career of her dreams. She began working full time for Coconino Community College.
“I chose business administration because of my field of work. I am a full-time employee as a human resource specialist, and I love it! I’ve worked in HR for over five years, and I am grateful for each opportunity I’ve had because it’s helped me enjoy my work and develop the passion that I have.”
Learn more about Abeita’s transfer experience and how she’s thriving at ASU below.
Q: Were you involved in any clubs or organizations at your community college? If so, please share which one(s) and how your participation impacted your community college experience.
A: At (Northland Pioneer College), I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and NPC’s chapter is Alpha Gamma Tau. In this chapter, I had an amazing opportunity to serve in the capacity of public relations officer where I was able to network with members and the college, in general. Due to my rural location on the Hopi reservation, it limited me in joining clubs.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: I never thought I’d be attending a university. Plans after NPC didn’t include ASU until I received a call from Michael Colwell, academic advisor with NPC, informing me that I was nominated for the All-USA scholarship. From that nomination, I obtained a spot on the All-Arizona Academic Team, which changed my plans for the better. I chose ASU because it has always been a childhood dream and goal. In researching ASU, I read numerous articles on the reputation and commitment to students. I was happy to have the ability to be an online student because I wasn’t prepared to relocate from my homeland.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your ASU experience so far?
A: My experience, thus far, with ASU has been great. I truly enjoy the support and encouragement from my success coach. Having someone on the other end rooting for you is super awesome because it makes me feel a part of the ASU community even though I am an online student. The constant follow-ups and progress updates make me feel like I am an actual student and not just a head count in the number of admissions.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a new transfer student?
A: One piece of advice I’d provide to a new transfer student is to have confidence. Attending a university can be intimidating at times, but have the confidence in yourself that you can do it. There are many students that transfer into a new setting of schooling, and it can take time to adapt, but don’t ever feel that you are alone or that you have to do it all by yourself. Take advantage of asking questions and the resources that are available.
Q: Is there anything else we haven't covered that you would like to share with us?
A: I am from the Hopi reservation, located in northeastern Arizona and am a first-generation college student. ... I’m married, traditionally, to a wonderful man named Zachary, who is my number-one supporter. I enjoy running, going on hikes, fishing, camping and doing anything with my husband that creates memorable moments.