Ignite Culture

Lexie Pineda-Soto

First-To-Go Program Coordinator

Full body portrait of LMU graduate Lexie Pineda-Soto with a hand on her hip in a black turtleneck and blazer, skinny jeans, and Converse high tops.

Lexie Pineda-Soto ’16, Ed.D. ’23, is the program coordinator for LMU’s First To Go initiative, which offers resources and opportunities for first-generation college students. Her work is rooted in the Jesuit philosophy “for and with others” and is inspired by her daily interactions with students.

Pineda-Soto is a lifelong LMU learner, studying communication studies as an undergraduate and most recently completing the doctoral program in educational leadership for social justice. As the first in her family to earn a doctorate, she understands the complexities first-generation students must navigate, like family structures, cultural backgrounds, and financial hardships. “I lost my aunt, uncle, and grandmother during my doctoral program,” Pineda-Soto shares. “They were significant maternal and paternal figures to me. My pursuit in higher education is a privilege that I dedicate to them and their guidance.”

Pineda-Soto harnesses that motivation to create opportunities for others. “First-generation students give me the courage and ferocity to dare – dare to understand, to dream, to feel.”