Fontana resident Genesis Guardado will be receiving one of her college's top honors when she graduates from Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, June 15.
The College of Education at Cal State will recognize Guardado as the Outstanding Graduate Student during the ceremony at 8 p.m. at Toyota Arena (formerly known as Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario.
Guardado is graduating with a master of science in counseling and guidance, a major she chose from her interest in mental health and counseling after acquiring her first degree in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.
Over the past three years at CSUSB, she has dedicated her time and effort toward becoming a better counselor. She has served as the director of communications and as a member for the Counseling Graduate Student Association. She has also served as a counseling intern at local schools, where she has helped foster socio-emotional wellbeing and academic success in future leaders.
“CSUSB helped me define my future by preparing me for a career I love. I found so much support at this school and I am so grateful for my experiences here,” she said.
But her college experience wasn’t always easy, especially since she was the first in her family to pursue higher education.
“One of the hardest things about college was being a first-generation student. Nobody warns you about the cultural dilemmas you face and how to deal with it. I was finding myself arguing with family about topics I was covering and my ethics, as well as just the time commitments that school required. My family did not understand what college entailed, much less graduate school,” she said. “The tensions have become better over time as I have educated my family more, but it is definitely a unique struggle.”
Despite her hardships, Guardado has found her academic experiences rewarding.
“I am proud of myself for being the first in my family to go to college and to get my master’s degree,” she said. “I’m proud of being able to push myself and get straight A’s in graduate school.”
Guardado hopes to work as a school counselor and is considering obtaining a doctorate in psychology someday.