If you go by statistics, Raquel Pérez wasn’t supposed to be a success story. She wasn’t supposed to be an educational inspiration. Raquel is a migrant farmworker from one of the poorest regions in the country. She never experienced a complete school year in one state.
Children of immigrants to the United States that attend university here have unique experiences of their own, and face many of the same obstacles first-generation college students face. Yet, they are often overlooked in discussions of marginalized groups on campus.
UC Riverside has a long history of supporting first-generation students. At 58%, first-generation students make up more than half the student population at UCR. We connected with 11 of our first-generation graduates to see what being the first in their family to graduate meant to them.