As a ﬁrst-generation college student, Manuel Alanis has found two elements crucial to his success at Normandale Community College. Always be willing to try new things, and use the resources available to help you succeed.
Alanis did this when he was part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Burnsville High School, which helped students develop skills to be successful in college. After Alanis took his placement test at Normandale, he enrolled in the Summer Scholars' program to help with the transition from high school to college.
When Alanis started at Normandale, he got involved with the TRIO Student Support Services and the Latinos United at Normandale in Action (LUNA) club. He also developed as a leader through the Pillars of Leadership program, is currently the president of LUNA and goes back to his high school to talk to students about college.
This year he plans to complete his associate's degree in Accounting at Normandale and continue his education at a four-year university.
"All the things I have been involved with here at Normandale have helped me improve not only academically, but as a leader," said Alanis. "I learned you can be a leader and sometimes not even know. You have to try it to realize what you are capable of doing."
Last spring, Alanis received the Campus Compact Presidents' Student Leadership Award highlighting his deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership. He was proud to win the award, but more honored to represent his community and to be an example to ﬁrstgeneration high school students trying to go to college.
"I feel that Normandale helped me become a person that can make an impact in my community," said Alanis. "Anywhere I go from here I will ﬁt in and do my best thanks to the skills I learned at Normandale."