Delgado Pimentel: ‘Jump into the deep end’

Anthony Delgado Pimentel ’18 is preparing to graduate and says he’ll always treasure the friendships he has made at Cornell College.

Photo of Anthony Delgado Pimentel
Anthony Delgado Pimentel ’18

The senior is finishing his computer science major and mathematics minor and has dreams of running his own business. While he’s originally from the Dominican Republic, he’s lived most of his life in the U.S.

Pimentel is one of many first-generation students to take part in the Rise Up Program. It was created in 2014 by Professor Suzette Astley and helps first-gen students through programming, advice, and relationship building.

After his time on the Hilltop, he has some words of advice for first-gen students coming to Cornell in the future.

“They should get involved early in clubs and organizations on campus that appeal to their interest,” he said. “The quickest way I have discovered to navigate college is just to jump into the deep end and start asking questions.”


  • What does it mean to you to be involved in Rise Up and to be a first-gen student?

Being involved in Rise Up means having a support network that can help navigate the uncertainties inherent as a first-generation student. Since my parents did not go to college, and I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, I don’t know the tips and tricks of a higher education. Rise Up has done a good job of offering invaluable resources through the various workshops and events held during the school year. First-gen students bring a new perspective to campus. Since we’ve never experienced something like this before we can add to the discussion with new ideas based on what we’re observing and what we’ve learned throughout our lives.

  • What are your suggestions for other new, first-gen students as they come to campus? What are some of the things you think they should take advantage of while they are here?

Don’t be afraid to mess up because you will inevitably do so—it’s just part of the experience. Taking advantage of resources like Rise Up and the Berry Career Institute will help tremendously because it can be very overwhelming to be a college student.

  • What did you do during your time here at Cornell, as a first-gen student, that you never realized you could do prior to coming to college?

I’m from Massachusetts and had never been to the Midwest in my life, so moving out here alone was definitely not something I thought I could do. I thought it’d be difficult to fit in because of the difference in cultures, but I found most people to be extremely nice and welcoming. I am very glad I took the leap since now I feel I can live anywhere, really, and survive on my own.

  • As you get closer to graduation and reflect on your time at Cornell, what memories and thoughts will you take with you after you leave?

I think I’ll mostly miss the friends I have made during the time I have been here at Cornell. The random banter and discussion about the most obscure topics we have at meals is always super entertaining. I think it’s probably not going to be as easy to make as many friends as quickly as I have in college because I won’t have an environment that’s so easy to do so. I feel like the people you meet during college become pretty important to your life; they help you grow in many ways and you help them. Who knows–later down the line they could become your future business partners.