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First-generation student shares inspirational story

Leah Porter

Campus Conversation highlights CU Denver’s momentum, strategies to bolster student success

Taking center stage, fittingly, was a student. Leah Porter, a business-management major who embodies the drive, diversity and enthusiasm of CU Denver students, shared her story of overcoming huge obstacles with an audience of about 100.

Porter grew up poor in Malaysia and is the first member of her family to attend college. Chancellor Dorothy Horrell learned through a colleague in the state community college system that Porter had enrolled at CU Denver and was a “superstar.” After meeting with Porter, a recent transfer from Arapahoe Community College (ACC), Horrell invited her to speak at the Campus Conversation.

CU Denver student Leah Porter shares her story of overcoming many obstacles to reach her dream of attending college.Porter explained that if you are a girl in Malaysia “you have two things to do in life – find a husband and take care of your family.” Porter was the middle child of five girls, and the first of her siblings to finish high school. She set her sights on college and worked multiple jobs to save money for tuition.

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