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Meet them all: 2021 first-generation featured students

In recognition of the annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, the College of Education profiled outstanding first-generation students November 5-12. This year, five first-generation students from across the university were featured. Each student is involved in programs in the College of Education’s Center for Multicultural Educational Opportunities (CMEO) which includes a variety of programs that support first-generation college students. This year’s featured students are listed below with the CMEO program they’re involved in, along with more information at each of their links.

  • Allie Arizmendi-Sanchez, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), TRIO STEM Scholars
  • Heather Campbell, TRIO Upward Bound, TRIO Rising Scholars
  • Robel Clifton, TRIO STEM Scholars
  • Gerardo Herrera, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), McNair Scholars
  • Katie Kadrmas, TRIO Academic Coaching & Educational Support (ACES)

Allie Arizmendi-Sanchez

Born in Mexico and raised in Ontario, Oregon, Allie Arizmendi-Sanchez came to Boise State to study civil engineering as the first person in her family to attend college. As part of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), a program that assists students who are children of migrant or seasonal farm workers complete their first year of college, Arizmendi-Sanchez found a community of support and financial assistance that have helped her to thrive at Boise State.

Learn more about Allie

Heather Campbell

Heather Campbell grew up in the Treasure Valley as a first-generation college student from a working class family, and hadn’t quite found her place at school or the kind of friends that would help her be the student and person she really wanted to be. But then Campbell was introduced to the TRIO Upward Bound program in high-school and she began to blossom into the college-bound student and confident young person she was meant to be.

Learn more about Heather

Robel Clifton

First-generation college student Robel Clifton came to live in Salmon, Idaho at the age of 12 from Ethiopia after being adopted by an “amazing mom” who taught him from the beginning how valuable education could be in his life.

Learn more about Robel

Gerardo Herrera

When first-generation college student Gerardo Herrera was growing up in Twin Falls, his dad would bring him to construction sites where he worked and explain to the young Gerardo that he could choose a life of less manual labor by attending college. This experience planted the seed for Herrera to eventually attend Boise State, where he has become an outstanding student studying electrical engineering, while receiving support through the McNair Scholars program, an academic achievement and graduate school prep program for first-generation college students from limited income backgrounds.

Learn more about Gerardo

Katie Kadrmas

Growing up in Caldwell, Katie Kadrmas has always loved school despite the challenges she faced as a person who was born blind and whose parents had limited education. What some might perceive as obstacles, Kadrmas has always been determined to adapt and thrive. “I’ve had my whole life to learn how to do things differently, and I’ve always been excited to go to college,” said Kadrmas.

Learn more about Katie