The Right Tools

It’s more than the right place at the right time. It’s the right support, too.

“You don’t know what someone can do until they have the resources they need,” says Dominic Magdaluyo ’19. “Here, I have those resources.”

Magdaluyo, 33, attended high school in San Francisco. But when it came time for college, “I was the student who slipped through the cracks.”

His parents hadn’t gone to college—so when he started classes at a community college, they didn’t realize how much work it would be.

Family needs preempted his studies. He worked retail and as a game tester for Sony. He was skipped for promotions. He needed a degree.

He started back at San Francisco City College and transferred to Santa Clara.

As a first-generation student, he was invited to campus early for the LEAD program, meeting other first-generation students, professors, and a mentor.

Today’s he’s in a five-year program to finish his engineering bachelors and master’s. He tutors high schoolers and is a mentor to other first-generation students. He works IT on campus and helps support his family. He’s the academic excellence chair for the SCU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

“It is about knowing I do belong here,” he says.

post-image Illustration by Gerard DuBois
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