College Shines Light on First-Generation Student Experiences

November 10, 2021

By Jason Kolnos

On Mon., Nov. 8, Saint Anselm College joined many other higher education institutions across the county by celebrating the experiences of first-generation students.

It was the third straight year that the college participated in National First-Generation College Celebration Day, a nationwide event led by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) and the NASPA Center for First-Generation Student Success.

Being first-generation is a very proud accomplishment. About 20 percent of the Saint Anselm student body is first-generation, according to Wayne Currie, director of the Center for Intercultural Learning and Inclusion. Saint Anselm College defines first-generation as any student whose parents did not graduate from a four-year college or university.

Samantha Salas Santos '25, a biology major whose goal is to work in pediatric hematology and oncology, said the distinction helps her inspire other family members to embark on their college journey.

“Being a first-generation student means that I can show my siblings what it’s like to go to college. My parents never had the opportunities that I had - they struggled, and they fought for me to get these opportunities,” she said.

On Monday, Intercultural Center students offered cupcakes and raffle prizes at the Jean Center while encouraging classmates to write inspirational quotes showing support for our first-gen students.

Learn more about what being a first-generation college student means to members of the Anselmian community, including Dr. Joseph Favazza, the college’s President, in the video below.

Related Links