First-Generation College Students

KVCC will once again be joining in the National Celebration of First-Generation Student Day on November 8th, 2023. As part of this celebration, we welcome you to provide your First-generation testimonial.  First-generation college students are people whose parent, guardian, or primary caretaker did not earn a Bachelor’s degree.  We celebrate your unique experience and would love to capture it.  We are first-gen proud of all your accomplishments.

We encourage any first-gen member of the KVCC Community to share their first-gen origin story by submitting a video below.  We have provided some examples from our amazing faculty and staff members and alumni who are First-generation graduates!  Your story matters.

KVCC First-generation Faculty & Staff


KVCC First-Generation Faculty & Staff

Laurel Dorr


Jim Chapman

“Like several of my colleagues, I was the first in my family to go to college. My mother worked her way up in the hospital from a switchboard operator to the manager of the business office. She experienced the difficulty of advancing without any degree, so for her there was no question: I would be going to college! Fortunately, I loved learning and followed in the footsteps of three uncles who earned their degrees in accounting or management.

I knew I wanted my Master’s degree, and I was afraid that if I stopped at my Baccalaureate, I would never go back. I chose a college and program where I could earn my BS and my MBA together in 5 years. When I started teaching, I was responsible for a lot of technology courses with no real coursework, so I went back for my second Master’s, this time in Computer Education. The courses weren’t always easy, but the reward in the end was so worth it! At the risk of using a worn-out platitude, no education is wasted; even in the worst situations, there is an opportunity to learn something. Keep plugging away and know that I am proud of you!


Teresa Smith

“My mom and dad went to work and raised three daughters. They never had the chance to go to college but they were very supportive of all three of us going to college…and we did! I am the first person in my family to earn a Master’s Degree. As first generation students, you will often feel that your family doesn’t understand how hard going to college is…that’s when you talk to your support at KVCC.  We get it – and we will help. Even though it may seem a struggle at times, know this – Education Changes Lives. I believe that with every fiber of my being. You are the future teachers, healthcare providers and trades men and women of our state.  We need you to make the world run, but more importantly, your families need you to be their role models and heroes!”

Mike Tardiff

“Colleges and universities are their own cultures. They have their own practices, norms, values, and even economies. Without someone to prepare or mentor you, it’s easy to feel culture shocked and overwhelmed–if you’re brave enough to enroll in the first place! We need more first-generation college students (and graduates) so we can systematically dismantle the many barriers to higher ed. Being the first in your family to fill out the FAFSA or choose a major or transfer or apply for an internship can be daunting. We need more people who can relate to these challenges!”



Landi Wright

“Although neither of my parents held a college degree, they did understand the value of an education; so I was raised with the assumption that I would go to college after high school. I applied and was accepted to a private college in New York. I even went so far as to travel there for a two-day freshman orientation; but ultimately, I chose not to attend college then. Honestly, I was just too afraid. I felt so out of place among the other freshmen at the orientation, like I didn’t belong there. How could I relate to these kids from affluent homes with well-educated parents? How could they ever understand and accept me, a low-income, first-generation student who didn’t have the same background, ideas, experiences, social skills, and opportunities that they had? Years later, I did finally find my way back to college and completed my degree, but I have never forgotten that feeling of not belonging, of not having “all the right stuff” to be a college student. This is what drives me to always strive for excellence when serving students here at KVCC – I want every student who walks into my office to know that there is at least one person here who understands the challenges they face, accepts them where they’re at, and believes that they DO belong here.”


Share your First-generation Testimonial


Share your First-generation Testimonial

We would like to invite all KVCC Staff & Faculty to share your First-Generation testimonial and claim your KVCC Branded First Generation Proud shirt.  We ask that those whoo receive this branded shirt wear it on National First-Generation Day on November 8th, 2023.

First-generation stories of the KVCC community

Please share with us your First-generation story or personal quote regarding your experiences. You can submit more than once if your experience changes or if you want a "redo."

I identify as a
If we provide you with a special First-generation KVCC branded shirt, will you commit to wearing the shirt on 11/8/2023 as part of our campus-wide First-Generation celebration.
Testimonial, Photo, or Video Release Consent Agreement(Required)
I hereby grant to Kennebec Valley Community College (“College”), Maine Community College System (“System”), and their respective employees and agents the right to use the submitted photo and to photograph, videotape and/or record me, and to use such videotape, picture, recording or other reproductions of my physical likeness in connection with any College or System publication, web site, advertisement, report, or other presentation whose purpose is to promote a service of the College or System. Similarly, I grant to the College and System, their employees and agents the right to reproduce for the same purpose any recordings of my voice that accompany any such videotapes. Finally, by signing this document, I hereby release and discharge the College and System, their employees and agents from any and all actions, claims and demands that I might have in connection with such use, and waive any and all rights to inspect or approve such photograph(s), videotapes and recordings.


Your signature confirms your response to the photo consent release agreement.
Max. file size: 50 MB.


Examples of Testimonials


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