By Demeturie Gogue, APIASF/GMS Scholar
Hello everyone. My name is Demeturie Gogue, a 2011 GMS Scholar. I recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in both Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies with a minor in Education. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Vermont to pursue a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration.
Although walking across the stage at my graduation was a momentous achievement, it did not hit as hard as the moment the speaker at our commencement asked the first generation college students to stand up and point to their family and friends who were there in support of them. As I stood up and pointed to my family scattered throughout the audience, all I could think about was, “This is for you.” Not only my family and friends, but my community–the Pacific Islander community. Throughout my four years here at Cal, I have realized more and more the importance of both accepting and embracing my identity as a Pacific Islander. Given the small number of Pacific Islanders in higher education, I knew this diploma was not only for myself and my family, but for all of the PI folks out their striving for something greater.
This picture is just a small glimpse of the community that motivates me to continue in my education. All I am is because of them; all I do is for all of you.