Catherine Lima '23

Published April 4, 2023

From the moment I stepped foot onto CSULB, I felt right at home. I transferred in from Santa Monica College for spring 2020. I joined the GenExcel program, and it really helped me to transition into the university as a first-generation student. My mentor was Emmy Daugherty, and she helped me so much along the way.  

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic hit right in the middle of my first semester and things went downhill for me. I lost my job, but thankfully taking classes online helped to keep my mind busy. I even did an internship with the My HERO Project, which provided me with some journalistic experience for my resume.  

I also joined the Daily Forty-Niner for two semesters as a writer and virtually worked with a lot of amazing people. Conducting phone and Zoom interviews was different for me, but I am so proud of the content that I produced during my time there.  

Now, as I am in my last semester, I joined DÍG en Español, the first Spanish-language magazine in Long Beach. Being part of this magazine has been an uplifting experience for me as a Latina woman from South Central Los Angeles. Not many of my high school classmates had the opportunity that I did to pursue higher education, and I am so thankful to be part of this campus.  

I also was fortunate enough to attend the 22nd Annual Latina Connection Conference in person. I met many strong and like-minded Latina women and I’m so thankful to have made a connection with each and everyone of them. That day, I truly realized the importance of my presence at the Beach.  

My heart is where the ocean is. I need to stay close to shore to help clear my mind during difficult times. I feel great knowing that I can go see the ocean waves right after class if I need to. I also wanted to get the best quality education I could get, and I knew that CSULB provides just that to their students. 

I look forward to fulfilling my dream of being a storyteller and being a role model to the youth in my community. I want them to know that they can achieve anything they put their minds to, and to never give up on their dreams.  

I got involved because I want to stay connected with CSULB even after I graduate. This campus has played a very important role in the creation of who I am today. In a world where we are prioritizing our best selves, I truly feel that I am my best self now thanks to my experience at the Beach. I want the next generations of the Beach to feel the same way.