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The difficulties faced by FGS nationwide are also found at Broward College where, since 2016, FGS have outnumbered continuing-gen students. FGS at BC pass fewer courses with a C or better, have lower retention rates, and have lower GPAs. Additionally, the importance of student utilization of campus and college resources is borne out by data showing that students who used the Academic Success Centers pass a greater percentage of courses with a C or above, earn a greater proportion of their attempted credits, and have higher overall GPAs (Institutional Research Data; S. Beaton-Garcia, Personal Communication October 9, 2017). Unfortunately, Broward College students often don’t use faculty as a resource available to them; for example, only 11.3% of Broward College students reported that they “worked with instructors on activities other than coursework” often or very often (Community College Survey of Student Engagement Broward College 2017 Key Findings).


Below Broward College faculty and students proudly share their #firstgen experience. We would love to feature your #firstgen story as well. Please email us at firstgenproud@broward.edu

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What motivated you to attend college?
I was born in Hialeah, FL to parents that immigrated to the US from Cuba for political asylum in the mid 1960's. My father was born and raised in a very rural part of Cuba (Pinar del Rio) but ultimately moved to Havana for work where he met my uncle who introduced him to his sister (my mom). My mother and her immediate family immigrated directly to Miami from Cuba but my father had to immigrate to Miami via Spain. Even though my parents have lived in the US for over forty years, none of them speak or read English. Growing up, I was the translator/interpreter for my family.



What motivated you to attend college?
I was motivated to attend college because I loved school and I thought I wanted to be a doctor. I went to a community college because the thought of attending a 4-year school was too overwhelming. I had mentors all along the way who guided me on how to find a major that matched my interest and how to stay on track to graduate and even apply to graduate school. I was encouraged by Dr. Mary Levitt to apply to the Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology at FIU. I had never met anyone with a Ph.D. before and Dr. Levitt believed in me even when I wasn't able to perform as well on the GRE test expected. By this point, I had only been speaking English for 4-5 years. I still had so much to learn.





What motivated you to attend college?
As a Haitian-American, I was born in the United States but both of my parents migrated from Haiti in the early 1980’s to flee both the political and economic issues in Haiti. My mother often would tell me the story on how along with many brave Haitian immigrants, she traveled on an unseaworthy boat with two small children (under the age of 3) from Bahamas to the shores of Florida, seeking the American dream.




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.


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