Office of Inclusive Excellence

Latinas in Higher Education

September 6, 2023

By Corina Rodriguez

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – Frida Kahlo

My name is Corina Rodriguez, I was born and raised in Monterey County. I am currently in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at CSUMB. Being a first-generation Latina pursuing a higher education not only feels empowering, but feels also inspiring. As the first in my family to pursue a Master's degree, I have always felt that I had potential to do something great, not only for myself, but for my community. Both of my parents were born in Mexico and I was always told as a child how education is important and how I needed to focus on my goals. By knowing how only about 4% of Latinas have received a master's degree, I feel very grateful to have been given the opportunity at CSUMB to pursue a master's degree in social work. As a MSW student at CSUMB, I have had a wonderful experience learning about who I am as a student and how I would like to contribute to society once I have completed the MSW program at CSUMB. I have found myself to be very driven and motivated to grow and expand my skill set to become the best version of myself possible. In relation to solidarity, I find the importance of connection and unity when associating myself with individuals from other Latinos from different ethnicities. With aspects of unity and diversity being so present within the environment of CSUMB, I have felt welcomed and secure in being myself and embracing my heritage on campus, which are attributes I am grateful to be a part of. Since only about 13.1 percent of U.S. adults have an advanced degree, up from 8.6 percent in 2000 (, 2019), it can be demonstrated how pursuing a higher advanced degree not only takes motivation but also ambition. Being at this level in my education, I have grown not only as a professional, but as a person. I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to reach and accomplish my goals. Overall, I am very grateful for my experience at CSUMB as a MSW student. I feel empowered and fortunate to be in the stage in my life and I look forward to what is to come. I would like to encourage any Latina interested in pursuing a higher education to do it. It will be entirely worth it. 


Corina Rodriguez was born and raised in Monterey County, and currently in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at CSUMB. She is one of El Centro’s Student Coordinators.