Student: Mirlanda Pierre
Pathway: Social Behavioral Sciences and Human Services
In a few short sentences, tell us about your first-generation background. Where did you grow up and what is your family history?
I grew up in a small town called Belle Glade here in Florida. To make it out of Belle Glade alive and be out into the world pursuing your dreams is a blessing that not all get to see. My family migrated to America to have a better life and have opportunities to provide for the family. So, education wasn't a priority because they started working at an early age.
What motivated you to attend college?
What motivated me to attend college was seeing my parents struggle to bring money in because of the low salary job that they had due to not having an educational background. Also, it was ingrained in me at an early age that having an education was one of the ways to be successful in America.
What were the biggest challenges you encountered as a first-generation college student? How did you overcome these challenges?
One of the biggest challenge I've faced as a first-generation college student is knowing about financial aid and scholarship opportunities at the last minute.
What advice would you give other first-generation college students?
An advice that I would give other first-generation college students would to be: put yourself out there because that is the only way you will know about the opportunities that are being offered in your community/area.
While we often talk about the challenges first generation students face, they also have unique sets of life experiences that can serve them well in college and beyond.
How did your background as a first-generation college student help you in college? What skills and experiences did you draw upon?
My background as a first-generation college student helped me in college because I knew what it felt like to be at the bottom. For example, seeing my parents struggle and wanting better for my future self and to be able to help them also. These obstacles that I faced. I used them as motivation to do and be better.
How does being a first-generation student influence you (and/or your work) today?
Being a first-generation student influence me by always having in the back of my mind of where I was and how my parents are living right now due to not having an educational background. So, I use as motivation.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your first-generation student experience?
One thing I would like to share is how I most of the time would think of how I wasn't in a position I wanted to be in because my parents didn't know much about these things to be able to help me. What I want to share is that it ultimately up to you to be the person that you want to be in this life. It is ultimately up to you to create these opportunities for yourself. If you don't put any work in, nothing will be lined up for you.