Student Quotes | Access College & Excel

“Being a first-generation student was a proud but nerve wrecking experience for me coming into college. I had no clue what to do or what to expect. Being a part of the ACE program truly helped with my transition from high school to college. They provided me with the tools to be successful in college. Having meetings with my program advisor and peer mentors gave me time to ask any questions I had, discuss my challenges and problems I was going to, and get advice on what I should do. Taking the CSS class was also very beneficial to me. It helped me with my time management, study skills, and other skills to help me in college. I was so blessed to be a part of this program! The ACE program made my time here at UTSA easier and enjoyable!”


Stephanie Ruiz

2014 ACE Scholar

"I decided to attend a four year university because I knew the benefits of earning a four year degree, I will have more options and opportunities available to me. I also read that there is a small percentage of students who actually transfer to a four year university after graduating with an Associate's degree and did not want to put myself in that situation. I actually never pictured myself attending UTSA. I always thought I would leave the city I've lived in my whole life and experience a new one. But, when reality sunk in my senior year of high school and it came down to applying to schools some of which were hours and hours away, I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my family. UTSA is a great school and offered my intended major so I saw no point in leaving. Being admitted into the ACE program I thought was a huge blessing it was a no brainer for me to accept. Along with financial support I also know that I also have academic support in order to help me graduate. This makes the ACE scholarship stand out compared to other scholarships."


Alexandra Alvarez

2016 ACE Scholar

“ACE was probably one of my biggest blessings in college! This scholarship has made a huge impact on my education. Financially it helped me with all my resources such as my books, a parking pass, and supplies for school. These were the essentials to continue my path to success. Not only did this scholarship help me financially but I was given the tools needed to be successful in college. Being a recipient of the program, I was given the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to be successful in college. The transition from high school to college was difficult but the ACE program required recipients to take the college success seminar 1201 course. This course helped with time management, study skills, and task management. Monthly advising and mentor meetings were always helpful when I had questions and concerns. It really was so helpful when it came to my transition. I was a first gen student all on my own. I really had no direction. So this program helped structure me to succeed.”


Devony Borjas

2016 ACE Scholar

"I would not be where I am today without ACE. Coming in as a freshman everyone who worked for ACE understood the struggles a first-generation college student is facing. Being an ACE Scholar we had to take the CSS class where I learned different tips to help me study and be successful in my classes. Meeting with my mentor, advisor and academic coach I was able to get guidance on different studying methods, resources UTSA has available, how to time manage and learned how to build my schedule. The scholarship helped me financially with being able to get a parking pass, textbooks, notebooks and scantrons. I did not have to worry about how I would come up with the money because I had my scholarship. I am now a peer mentor for ACE and I love being able to help students who are in the same position I was once in and helping guide them on their college journey."


Alexis Mata

2017 ACE Scholar

"ACE has been beneficial to me, because they helped guide me through the transition from high school to college. As a first generation student they provided me with resources as well as taught me skills that I have utilized throughout each semester to accomplish my goals. I will be forever grateful for the help of the ACE Scholar program."
Julianna Rodriguez
2017 ACE Scholar

"Growing up, I always thought I could get through things all on my own, I figured no one would know better than me to learn what I live every day. I was quite self-centered when my education journey began, I always wanted to be the best. After getting a taste of college my first semester, it is safe to say that I would not have grown so much as a young adult without the help of ACE. I learned to not give up, I learned that there were people who had my back to support me in every decision I made, and whether it was a smart decision to make or not, I sure heard many pieces of advice before taking the next step. Most importantly, I learned that I am not alone, everything falls into place at the end of the day, life keeps going no matter what, but the support will always be there."

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Isauro Ramos

2018 ACE Scholar

“As a first-gen student not knowing much about college, the ACE Scholar Program has helped me with this transition by providing resources such as workshops, academic success coaching and mentoring. It has also helped me by providing a good support system and being able to meet new people”


Jennifer Rojas

2019 ACE Scholar

“ACE has benefited me in personal growth. Being a first-generation student and not knowing much about what laid ahead was nerve wrecking. The program has helped me stay informed, meet new people, and get out of my comfort zone.”


Yamilet Isidoro

2019 ACE Scholar