Stefan Gardea and Bao Niah Xiong at spring 2018 commencement

Xiong and Gardea are roommates, friends and difference-makers

Student Speaker Bao Nhia Xiong and Stephany Gardea are roommates and friends, with much in common. Both are first generation college students and the first in their families to graduate with a four-year college degree. And both will leave a lasting legacy at UW-Green Bay. Xiong was selected as student speaker and reminded fellow graduates that their families walk across the stage with them. Gardea has a unique story to tell, doing what many say is impossible — graduating with zero debt. At a time when many continue to question the value exchange between the cost of college and the degree and experience earned, the Business Administration and Spanish & Latin American Studies double-major provides a lesson for others contemplating if college is the right path. Wearegreenbay featured her zero-debt story.