Citlalli Cazales takes great pride in calling herself “First Gen.”
She grew up in Berwyn, Ill., as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her mother works at a gas station and her father in a factory. Neither graduated from high school, but they dreamed of seeing Citlalli in college.
Citlalli found the path to making that dream a reality when she started caddying at River Forest Country Club. Caddying taught her about teamwork and helped her develop her social skills and self-discipline. Eventually, she earned a full tuition and housing Evans Scholarship to attend Northwestern University.
Now a junior, Citlalli is majoring in human development and psychological services. Her plan is to become a teacher in an underserved community. Already tri-lingual in English, Spanish and Italian, she is studying Arabic and plans to minor in Middle East and North African studies.
“That’s why my parents immigrated here,” she says. “For me to get an education and for me to live out their dreams they couldn’t really live out.”