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5 ½ Things About First-Gen College Students We’re Celebrating Today

Happy First Gen Day! It’s not a well-known holiday, but we’re all about celebrating worthy things. National First Generation College Student Celebration Day, or simply First-Gen Day, is a day to recognize trailblazers in our campus community and campuses around the country. Keep reading to learn about this (relatively) new day of celebration and some of the first generation Broncos we celebrate today.

1) Dario Segura

Dario, a sophomore from Puyallup, Washington studying Health Studies, says that, “Being the first one in my family to go to college was a huge deal for me and my family. Since both of my parents did not attend college and because I am the oldest child in my family, it was very important to them that they give me an opportunity to actually attend college and become the first one in my family to do so.”

2) Courtney Marquez

The impact of trailblazing Broncos can be felt far and wide. Take Courtney Marquez, a sophomore from Emmett, Idaho studying Graphic Design. “As a first-gen student, it’s really hard to complain and ask for help towards people who really don’t know what you’re experiencing. My first year experience is exactly what pushed me out of my comfort zone. I became an Orientation Leader, where I was able to meet and help so many students at Boise State. My leadership role has led me to become an Orientation Coordinator for New Student Programs at Boise State, and in the process I joined a sorority.”

3) Conner Hudak

Conner Hudak, a junior from University Place, Washington studying Business says, “Being first to attend college means that I get to start a legacy wherever I choose to go. Since I chose Boise State, my future family has that option of going to a school where they will have more connections in comparison to other options. And as an added benefit, I am also the first of my family to be involved in Greek life (Pi Kappa Alpha) which is an even greater influence on my future children’s school decisions.”

4) Kai Mendoza

Arik “Kai” Mendoza, a Kinesiology major originally from Maui, Hawaii, had this to say, “being a first generation student means that I can show other first generation students can do it as well and strive for more”. His advice to others that may be in his position soon is simply, “never be scared and make sure to have fun with the experience.”

5) Manuel Garcia

For Manuel, a Double Business Administration and Entrepreneurship major from Twin Falls, Idaho, the journey of being a first-gen student has been a long time in the making. “Graduating college has been one of my life ambitions for as long as I can remember. In fact in second grade, I remember writing down that in the future I will be attending Boise State University. Being able to still have that piece of paper and also knowing that I’m truly achieving a childhood dream.”

5 ½) A word of advice from President Tromp

President Tromp, a first-gen student herself, has some words of wisdom for first-generation Broncos:

“You’ve got this. First-generation students play an important part in the intellectual life of our campus and in the future of our state and nation. You have the capacity to contribute new insights, bring fresh perspectives, and open doors others haven’t even seen.  Your unique, individual perspectives will help shape the world. Research shows that when you surmount the challenges that come with being first-gen, you build both intellectual and emotional strength to ascend to greater heights and contribute more. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next.”

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