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SCU First Gen Staff/Faculty Profiles

Joanna Thompson
Director, Office for Multicultural Learning
Where did you attend college?

West Virginia University

What was your college experience like as a first-generation college student?

At the time, I did not realize I was a "first-generation" student. In 2006 when I was entering my freshman year in college, it was not a common term. But the impact was still there. Not being able to ask my parents certain questions left us all learning about college at the same time. It was stressful at times, but also helped us bond because it felt like we were all going to college together!

What message do you have to share with current first-generation college students?

Do not let labels stop you from living your best life! "First Generation" means so much more than two words on an application. It means resilience, independence, and honor, so go out and change the world!