A note about my guests and defining success

First Gen Journey features everyday people who are first generation college students and professionals. I deliberately made this choice because, in my experience, First Gen students are often encouraged by their parents or family members to aspire to one of two professions: doctor and lawyer (maybe engineer and computer programmer have been added to that list now). On the other hand, well-meaning First Gen organizations highlight moguls, government leaders, and CEOs like Oprah Winfrey, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Harold Schultz. Although we should definitely encourage First Gen students to reach for success, I think it is a mistake to define success in such narrow terms. I made a conscious decision to highlight people who consider themselves successful in their chosen careers – whatever their titles or professions might be. In doing so, I intend to show that success can come in many forms and is best defined by the people who are living those lives. I want First Gen students to hear about the First Gen professionals who are hotel managers, architects, librarians, professors, program coordinators, and community organizers. Likewise, I want First Gen professionals to see themselves in my guests and feel validated in their own experience of success.


First Gen Journey Intro