Proud to be First

Share Your Story

Contact Carole Richards to schedule an interview for your "I am First" story.

As a first-generation student you have a lot of responsibility. You are paving the way for yourself and others who want to follow in your footsteps. Remember, you are not alone! The UHart community is filled with many faculty and staff members who have been in your shoes and are here to support you throughout your college career.

Glossary of Terms

Throughout the University, you will hear many different terms and abbreviations used such as Bursar, FAFSA, or Pass/No Pass. Use the Glossary of Terms as a guide to determine what these words refer to on-campus.

I am First

Stephanie Feitel '24

Stephanie's road to higher education was not always easy; her father has an eighth-grade education, and her mom had her first child at 14, and neither of her siblings went to college. Stephanie, however, was determined to show her daughter that it is never too late and that she "can do hard things."

Gianna Balsamo '23

When Gianna first arrived at the University of Hartford, one of her biggest challenges as a first-generation student was the workload. No one ever told her how hard it would be. Gianna says, "stay on yourself about getting the work done, because it slips up."

Samantha Mondragon Bustos '26

As a first-generation student, Samantha found the college application and FAFSA process daunting. She advises you to look for resources to help. They are available if you put in the effort to look for them.

Show Your Spirit

First-Gen students before commencement with green cords

At Commencement, students who have blazed the trail for their families are eligible to recieve a first-generation cord. First-generation cords are available free of charge to graduating students who are the first in their immediate families to graduate from college. Questions about first-generation cords should be directed to Julissa Pabon.

Learn more about Commencement FAQs.