Our students, faculty, and staff come from all walks of life. Learn more about their shared experiences in being the first in their families to attend college.
Being first—stories of first-gen Jaguars
As a first-generation student, my motivation for attending and staying in college is being a role model for my younger sister, in hopes that she will pursue a college degree someday. My parents have sacrificed a lot to help me get here, and I know my future is bright.Read Fernanda's story
My motivation for applying to and attending college was a desire to secure a stable career that I enjoyed and had an interest in. During school, I became interested in orthopedic surgery, where I can help people directly with my own hands.Read Nick's story
Knowing and witnessing many people live the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle severely impacted me and motivated me to go to college. My mother was always hard on my brother and me about school because she dropped out her senior year of high school and wishes she could go back and make different decisions. College was my only way.Read Dimond's story
I learned from watching my parents that a college degree would set me up for success. Going to college gives me a variety of opportunities I may not get otherwise.Read Mercedes' story
I've always wanted to be somewhere better than I am now. I want to have a job that makes me happy and not just somewhere I go for a paycheck, and this is why I stay in college.Read Olivia's story
My dream is to become the first dentist in my family. I have been a dental assistant for the past seven years, and it's such a rewarding feeling of making a difference in someone's life.Read Brianda's story
My parents taught me from a young age that getting a college education was a huge priority. As a first-generation student, I was motivated because they provided me an opportunity to learn and stressed the importance of a college degree.Read Thi's story
Starting college was scary because it was so different from the experiences of my family. I wanted to break the family pattern of working a minimally paying job, and I wanted to make them proud. So, I applied.Read Alexa's story
College was my next step to achieve overall success, and I knew that attending would afford me opportunities I would not get anywhere else. I am currently a Ph.D. student in music technology. My research interests feel like a calling more than anything.Read Alan's story
It was intimidating knowing that I would be the first person in my family who would apply for and attend college, but I was very determined. I overcame a lot of obstacles, and now I have a bachelor's degree in health sciences and am continuing on in a doctorate program for occupational therapy.Read Breea's story
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