Union celebrates its first-generation students

Publication Date

The College marks the First-Generation College Celebration on Nov. 8, 2020, a day celebrated nationwide to honor students who are the first in their families to go to college.

In 2019, Union founded the Bridges First-Gen Program, an innovative one-on-one mentoring program to ensure the success of first-generation college students at Union. Learn more about a few of the College's first-generation students below.

Gianna Morton '21

Gianna Morton

Major: Physics

Hometown: Greenbelt, Md.

Favorite thing about Union: My favorite things about Union is the friendships I have formed and the opportunities that it has granted me. I was allowed to take part in research during the summers of my college career and was able to go abroad to Australia in the fall of 2019.

What is challenging about being first-gen and how did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges was not being able to ask my mother for advice because I am the first one in the family. Through the support and encouragement of the faculty on campus I was able to overcome this obstacle.

Erick Miron '22

Erick Miron

Major: English and Theater double major

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.

Favorite thing about Union: During my time here, I have had the opportunity to meet faculty who go above and beyond when it comes to supporting their students.

Bao Vo '23

Bao Vo

Major: Computer Engineering

Hometown: Vietnam

Favorite thing about Union: Everything

Sokhoeun Noeut '23

Sokhoeun Noeut

Major: Mathematics and Economics double major and Chinese minor

Hometown: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Favorite thing about Union: I like looking at the Nott from the library when the sun sets. The hockey games and UProgram events are fabulous.

What is challenging about being first-gen and how did you overcome it?

The transition was slightly challenging because I was not sure who/where to look for resources when I had questions. I started off by joining different clubs so that I can know people, connecting with some upperclass students, utilizing the Lunch with a Leader program, and also attending the First-Bridge Program to have a mentor to talk and guide with my transition.

Ashley German Soto '24

Ashley German Soto

Major: Undeclared (most likely Political Science major with a Psychology minor)

Hometown: Boston, Mass.

Favorite thing about Union: The ISEC building. Working there until midnight always hits different with some Starbucks.

What is challenging about being first-gen and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging part for me is not being able to ask my mom for help like I used to. This is new to her as well so she doesn’t have all the answers. I plan to use my Posse as guidance on campus and also my mentors.