George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Making a Better Life: First Generation Student Motivated by Family

Written by Katherine Johnson Dias on .


Franklin Funes, management major, has responsibilities that many don’t consider when they think of typical undergraduate students. In addition to his role as a student, Funes works full-time, and is a husband and father. He’s also a first generation college student, and recipient of the GOV Services, INC. Scholarship. 

As a student who’s working full-time and supporting a family, Funes is “forever grateful” of financial support provided by School of Business donors.

“My parents came to this country to offer me a better life. Although they were not able to assist me financially, they always encouraged me to fight for my aspirations,” he says. “College is getting more expensive every year, and having a family to care for makes it really hard to pay for classes. I am thankful to know that there are good people in this world who are willing to help. Because of their generosity, I will be able to focus on getting my degree and support my family the way they deserve.”

Funes currently works as the sales manager for Greenspring Retirement Community, managed by Erickson Living, in Springfield, VA. He works closely with the director of sales to coordinate and manage daily sales activity in the community. He’s also responsible for daily operations, reporting and analysis of sales indicators, and maintaining community partnerships.

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop my career right here at Greenspring and with Erickson Living. I have had incredible opportunities to be part of programs that allow rising leaders to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in any line of work. I’m grateful that my company encourages me every day to continue going to school, and pushes me to achieve the degree I have been working so hard to earn,” he says.

Funes says he’s learned to manage his time well, taking each day at a time by setting priorities and focusing on the task at hand. “If I am at work, I am fully dedicated to my craft and creating an exceptional customer experience with everyone I interact with,” he says. “When I’m at home, it’s my time to focus on family and enjoy the little victories my children have every day. And when it comes to being a student, I’ve found it’s important to know myself and what works best for me in terms of study habits so that I can make sure to set myself up for success.”

Funes plans to graduate by 2020. “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank the scholarship donors for their commitment to us scholarship recipients. I hope that one day very soon I will be able to give back and become a scholarship donor myself so that I may also give someone the chance I had.”