KVCC Honors our First Gen Community Members: Melissa Clement

Date(s) - 11/10/2020 - 11/14/2020


KVCC celebrates First Gen Day by honoring our First-Gen members of the KVCC community. Today we are honoring Melissa Clement. Her First Gen story encapsulates common First Gen themes; namely that the student feels like they are lost in the process and not knowing how to ask for help. She shares:

“My college journey began the fall after graduating high school. I always knew I wanted to go to college and my family expected it of me but I did not have a foundation for what it was really going to be like. My first attempt did not work out for me. I was so lost. I didn’t understand how to ask for help and there was so much I did not understand. I remember thinking that it would never be realistic for me to be a college graduate. After taking a break for a few years, I found myself determined to make a future for myself. I wanted to be independent and I wanted stability. I focused my energy on what I wanted and didn’t let anything get in my way. At times, my goal seemed so far away- I sometimes felt like I didn’t belong. I used that frustration as motivation and focused on what was in my control in the here and now and eventually earned my Master’s Degree. For those who are not first generation, it is easy to minimize all of the little pieces of information that get passed to you along the way. First generation college students learn more than just academics. We learn how to advocate, how to persevere. We are an example for so many that will come after us- our children, siblings, and other college students who may be feeling defeated. When we leave college, we are ready to take on anything! I am so very FIRST GEN PROUD!”

If you would like to share your First-gen success story and you are a first-gen grad, please fill out our survey here!