Student Narratives: Cheyenne Arroyo

Cheyenne Arroyo

Cheyenne Arroyo carried 19 units this semester to meet the requirements of her double major in Economics and Child Development. She will graduate in 2017, and following her mother and grandmother, her goal is to teach.

“Cheyenne is an outstanding department citizen that we see almost every day,” said Dr. Steve Hackett, Department Chair. “The department truly needs engaged students like her to work properly.”

Fluent in Spanish and English, and learning ASL, she is confident in her goals and current choices.

The Road to Humboldt and Economics

Cheyenne was active in high school as an athlete, peer mentor, volunteer, and scholar. She found Humboldt on a road trip in 2012, when she and her mom toured schools on the West Coast during her senior year. On the way they stopped at Cal Poly Humboldt.

“We got out of the car and the campus literally took our breath away,” she said. “I felt like I belonged, and the fact that Arcata is so cute was a bonus.”

Like many incoming students, Cheyenne attended Spring Preview that year. She had a business major in mind, but she wanted to make sure, and she was open to options. She attended presentations, talked to faculty and students from other departments, and found herself interested in Economics. By the time Spring Preview was over, she had decided to make the change to Econ.

Cheyenne feels at home in the department, which is characterizes as friendly and extremely supportive.

“We are a very small department, and we all know each other really well,” she said. “Everyone is so kind and encouraging. The friendships I have made in Economics are lifelong.”

Through her experiences working at the Children’s Center on campus, and becoming involved in the Economics Department, she realized her dream of becoming a teacher. She approached Dr. Hackett with an idea: to craft a double major in Economics and Child Development.

“I was especially grateful for the help Dr. Hackett gave me in creating my double major,” said Cheyenne. “He never pressured me to change my mind, but instead, helped me develop the program that integrates both subjects.”


Dr. Hackett and other faculty recommended her for a position as a student instructor for Econ 210. “Student instructors are responsible for helping in several ways, including holding once a week classes where we do activities, weekly questions, homework help, and review to reinforce the curriculum the students learn in lecture. It is great being on the instructional side of the class. It gave me a lot more confidence in myself, and made me open to going to graduate school one day to teach at the college level.”

Cheyenne wants to teach elementary students first. She is excited about incorporating economics into her curriculum. She believes economics is applicable to children at all age levels.

“Economics is everything,” she says matter- of- factly. “It was my Sustainable Society class with Will Fisher that really opened my eyes. We trade our labor for what we buy. It made me reconsider everything I consume. I want to help children create a foundation of economics in which they can build on throughout their educational career.”

As previously mentioned, Cheyenne works at the Humboldt Children’s Center. “I have worked with my children since they were ten months old, and soon they will be turning three,” she said. “I love working with children-seeing their successes like learning their number and colors, zipping their jacket, and learning how to communicate inspires me to want to guide them in learning.”

Cheyenne’s advice to incoming freshmen in the department is to go with what feels right.

“Here at Humboldt there is so much support and guidance,” she said. “They make it very hard to feel like you have failed.”

Cheyenne says the college experience has made her much more patient and flexible.

“You can’t help to be more confident in yourself as well,” she says, “when you are independent and have to make your own decisions.”

What’s next 

Once classes are over in May, she will walk with her class in 2017 and return in fall for one last semester. She will finish up her double major and begin looking into credentialing programs. When asked about what makes her unique, Cheyenne smiled. “Knowing exactly what I want to do in life. Through my education and time at Humboldt I have found my life’s work.”