Jessica Gomes, a freshman at the University of San Diego, was recently selected to write for Seventeen magazine. The popular teen magazine launched its online â€œFreshman 15â€ program on Sept 15; thousands of girls submitted a minute-long audition video, but only 15 were chosen to write a weekly blog about their first-year college experience.
Born and raised in Fresno, Calif., Gomes is a first-generation college student in her family. Her parents moved to California from Portugal and neither of them attended college. However, Gomes has been interested in pursuing higher education since she was a young girl.
As a prospective college student, she followed Seventeenâ€™s â€œFreshman 15â€ to learn about campus life, and she now strives to give other girls inspiration and information through her own blog entries. The psychology major is particularly interested in advising other first-generation college students about the application process, choosing the right college and what to expect during the first year.
â€œI want to give students that do not have the advantage of having a parent or sibling who has been through college advice, and answer their questions,â€ she said.
Gomes’ own introduction to the college experience was aided by the federally funded Student Support Services program on campus, which aims to make the transition from high school to college smoother for first-generation college students.Â As part of the program, she arrived at USD five days before USD’s annual Torero Days orientation for new students. Students moved into their rooms in the residence halls early and went through five days of icebreakers and activities such as visiting the San Diego Zoo. â€œIt was great because (when school started) I already knew 41 other students on campus,â€ Gomes said.
Gomes will post weekly blogs, photos, videos, and a monthly â€œCampus Cutiesâ€ entry for Seventeen. She looks forward to speaking live with theÂ magazine’s readers via the online video chat program Skype.
The motivated freshman eventually wants to move back to her hometown and inspire high school students to go to college.Â â€œA lot of kids where Iâ€™m from donâ€™t really think about going to college or past community college,â€ she said. They’re certain to broaden their horizons once they hear Gomes’ perspective.
â€” Adrianna Andreini ‘10
Click here to check out Jessica Gomes’ audition, profile, and blog.