Photo of Abraham in purple grad gown in front of sign that says proud of gators
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Artist, Entrepreneur, and First-Gen Grad Reflects on College Journey

by Making Waves Education Foundation

Making Waves Education Foundation » Stories » Artist, Entrepreneur, and First-Gen Grad Reflects on College Journey

For Abraham Segura (he/him), choosing to attend college started out as a practical decision.  

“I chose San Francisco State because not only financially was it the best choice with the scholarship from Making Waves, but I have my family here in San Francisco and my friends here, so it meant more of a support system for me.” 

Inspired by his family’s entrepreneurial spirit and their small business in San Francisco, Abraham chose business administration as his major.  

“I was motivated because of the practicality of a business degree,” shared Abraham, who is a first-generation college student. 

“But I felt like I was missing something,” Abraham said as he thought about his first few years of college. “I really wanted to do more art. That is my passion.” 

Working with the design department advisor at San Francisco State, Abraham saw a roadmap where he could double major in business and design. The opportunity allowed him to marry his two interests. 

It also allowed Abraham to draw from his experience co-founding and running a small clothing brand, called Tattered Society, which builds community through tattoo inspired clothing. 

“Being part of the design program was a whole new experience. I found this community of like-minded individuals,” he shared. 

“We help each other with our art, help critique each other’s projects, and just make ourselves better and ready for the world and the design industry,” shared Abraham, who pitched and successfully created a comic book, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, for his senior capstone project. 

Screenshot of Abraham's comic book cover and one page
Abraham’s comic book, designed for his senior capstone project.

Now having graduated with both his business administration and visual communication design degrees this past May, Abraham is already a freelance graphic designer and is exploring options in both the art and business worlds. 

“I’ve learned so much about management and design and how I want to pursue both further. I was always passionate about art, specifically illustration. It helps me express myself and create pieces that others find value in.” 

At a Making Waves Education Foundation board meeting this past spring, Abraham shared that Making Waves played a pivotal role in his college journey. 

“I was so excited to join the Making Waves program. All the support from Making Waves makes a difference – the scholarship, the coaching, the financial guidance has all motivated me further.” 

When reflecting on his academic and career pursuits, Abraham described the support from Making Waves as providing peace of mind. “It was fundamental change that allowed the space to breathe and think about what I wanted to pursue.”  

“It’s hard to figure out who you are and what you want to do, when you are worried financially,” he said. 

“I would not have been able to pursue art,” Abraham added. “Making Waves provided me guidance for challenging financial situations and the opportunity to pursue my passions.” 

“My coaches help put everything in perspective and provide support that I don’t get from the university. They helped me in ways I didn’t think were possible, like slowing down my thinking and helping me grow in different ways.” 

Abraham is also getting career guidance from Making Waves for his post-graduation pursuits.  

“The career coaching aspect has been a huge help with cover letters, boosting up my resume, building up my portfolio, networking, exploring different job options, and finding places to apply,” he shared. 

“College and post-college can become a jumbled and confusing road. But the structure from Making Waves makes it all possible.” 

This Voices of Making Waves storytelling series spotlights the voices and journeys of the students and alumni in our Making Waves Education Foundation and Making Waves Academy communities.


At Making Waves, we are committed to educational equity. Making Waves Education Foundation is a Bay Area nonprofit that supports Making Waves Academy – a public charter school with more than 1,100 5th through 12th grade students – and leads college and career programming with more than 430 college students.​

Knowing the opportunities that come with a college degree, we partner with historically underrepresented and underserved students to help make college affordable and graduation attainable. Centering the journeys of our students, our personalized approach includes college and career coaching, scholarships, and financial planning.​

Our alumni network includes more than 730 college graduates, who earn their degrees and land jobs at more than twice the rate of their first-generation, low-income peers, with 85% graduating debt-free.