May 11, 2022
High school: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy; Great Lakes Bay Early College
Future: Has applied to Officer Candidates School with the Marine Corps
A Saginaw Valley State University graduate has followed in her mother’s and older sister’s footsteps by walking across the graduation stage.
Alejandra Fulgencio, a biology major from Saginaw, has been familiar with campus since she was a little girl.
“I came to SVSU because I grew up here. My mom graduated from here herself many years ago and would bring my siblings and I with her to her classes. Being a single mother was difficult for her but through it all, it rooted the idea of college for me very early on. My sister also graduated from here in 2020, so I knew I too would one day walk across the stage.”
Alejandra’s mother, Lucia Vargas, graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Marcelina Fulgencio, an SVSU admissions representative and Alejandra’s sister, also studied social work, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2020.
Alejandra attended Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy, then entered Great Lakes Bay Early College, which set her up for financial success.
“What makes me proud that I am graduating is the fact that I finished this achievement at 20 years old, debt-free. My parents have always stressed the importance of college, and I can finally pat myself on the back for successfully getting through it.”
While at SVSU, Alejandra made the academic dean’s list multiple semesters while participating in student organizations.
“I truly enjoyed volunteering at Special Olympics for a few years. I also held an executive position in Health Professions Association and was a part of the 2020-2021 cohort of the Wolohan Fellowship in Leadership and Service.”
Through the Wolohan Fellowship, Alejandra and nine other SVSU students rehabilitated the exterior of a 127-year-old home in Saginaw as part of a neighborhood revitalization effort in the summer of 2021.
For a long time, Alejandra thought she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
“When the time came for me to make a few choices it was a lot harder than I anticipated. Health Professions Association is the reason I discovered that my true purpose isn't what I thought it was. To this day I continue to search for the exact purpose of mine, yet I am one step closer in the right direction.”
The people at SVSU are Alejandra’s favorite attribute of the university — specifically, Heidi Lang, SVSU pre-health professions advisor; Michael Coote, SVSU assistant professor of chemistry; Patrick Pan, SVSU professor of mathematics; Jim Dwyer, special assistant to the president for professional development, and the entire SVSU Office of Admissions.
“Each of these individuals are the reason I will be graduating; all have helped in big or small ways. The small words of encouragement, tutoring in my classes, getting me in connections with the right person, everything has led me to this day.”
Alejandra has applied to the Officer Candidates School to become a Marine Corps officer.
“Twenty years from now I will tell people how much I loved SVSU. The fact that campus is small was such a blessing. All the opportunities and support I had here was unlike any other place. I am proud to be an alumnus from here.”