studentsuccess | ucmblog

Interior Design Major Finds Success as First-Generation Student at UCM

By Jacalyn Leake, November 6, 2018

Marlesha Whitt

Marlesha Whitt

Marlesha Whitt, a first-generation student from St. Louis studying interior design at UCM, is very grateful for the impact the UCM Alumni Foundation has contributed to her success.

When listening to Whitt talk, it is obvious how happy she is to be attending UCM. She didn’t always have a clear picture of her future education in high school. Then, a counselor pointed out her love for the Home & Garden Television channel could be turned into a career.

“I liked the channel HGTV and how changing somebody’s house can make them feel better and be more comfortable. I just wanted to be that type of change in the world,” Whitt recalls. “I was telling my counselor and she was like, ‘well that would be a good fit.’”

As the first in her family to attend college, she’s found that she can’t always turn to her mother for help with college, like she can for other things. Instead, she continues to seek support and advice from UCM counselors.

“Some stuff I always call my mom and I can’t call her because she doesn’t know what I’m supposed to be doing,” Whitt explains, “So, I always go to the counselor and they help me out.”

Whitt hopes to someday own her own business centered around designing homes. She feels like she owes a lot of her current and future success to having received a scholarship.

“It kept me going and kept me focused,” Whitt said. “Without the scholarship, who knows where I would be? I probably wouldn’t be here. So, thanks to the donor for my success in the future.”


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