First-generation students bring a unique perspective to their educational experience at Cornell, and the university is committed to fostering opportunities for them to thrive and build community with fellow students through a variety of programs and resources. Below are insights and advice from several first-generation Cornell students and staff.
Dariana Argueta-Zamora ’22
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
To be a first-generation college student means you possess a unique strength and resilience that keeps you moving forward. Sometimes you are your own support system and have to rely on yourself to overcome challenges. But along the way you discover that you’re not alone and there is a whole community of people that you can find comfort and support in, such as the first-generation community on campus. The beauty in being a first-gen is that everything you do carries a double purpose. Not only are you working to make yourself proud, but also your family who didn’t have the same opportunities.
Britney Rivera-Martinez ’23
School of Hotel Administration
Being [a] first-generation [student] means creating a path that was not there before in order to uplift members of my community.
Advice: The advice I would offer is to take the time to reconnect with yourself. Don’t lose sight of who you are and where your interests lie.