TCU has been supporting first-generation college students through its TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) since 1997. Some of Harris College’s First-Gen students share encouragement and advice to others navigating their First-Gen journey.
Nikolina Djumic ’24, Movement Science
“I’m originally from Serbia and my time at TCU and within the kinesiology department has been truly unforgettable, providing me with valuable lessons and lifelong friendships. To incoming first-generation students, I would offer this piece of advice: get involved from the very beginning and savor every moment of your TCU experience. The transition to college can be nerve-wracking, but being a part of such a supportive university community transforms the experience into something truly memorable.”
Kamilah LaFavor ’24, Social Work
“Reflecting over life provides a humbling story of the challenges and experiences that allow me to be where I am today. I returned to college in fall 2020 after retiring from my first career; it was a time of uncertainty and fear. I had a professional skillset but lacked higher education. I am a proud first-generation student; a proud self-supporting student. I am proud of my accomplishments; I am proud to share my story with other first-generation students and hope to inspire students who look like me. I found my community and my forever family at TCU. Take a leap of faith! Letting go of your fears frees your hands to catch the opportunities that are coming your way. ”
Maria Torres ’27, Nursing
“This quote was said to me by someone who helped me during my senior year in high school as I applied to college and began receiving my acceptances – something I didn’t think about doing or was able to do, ‘You may think what you’re achieved is just the ‘norm,’ but it’s actually a high achievement; a big step for your generation and the ones to come.”
Katherine Westbrook ’25, Speech-Language Pathology
Katherine Westbrook is a graduate student clinician at the Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic at TCU. “The level of support you are going to receive from established faculty and peers in your area of study is absolutely phenomenal; don’t forget that you have resources here at TCU to help you find your way. It is okay to ask for guidance when you need it, and building up your community of support will always positively impact your growth.”
Kei’ Shanae Williams ’25, Nurse Anesthesia
“Being the first college graduate and now graduate student in my family is something I am extremely proud of. I hope to someday be a visual representation to other first-generation students that you can achieve anything you work towards, even if those around you haven’t seen it done. Very few will understand the struggle of being ‘The First.’ It takes grit, perseverance and initiative, but it’s all worth it. Stay focused; you got this!”
National First-Generation Day is celebrated on November 8 at universities and colleges across the nation to celebrate, highlight and support our first-generation students.