First-Generation College Celebration

BCC first-generation students sitting in a circle

BCC First-Generation Students

First-generation students are the first within their families to attend or graduate from college. BCC is the first community college in Massachusetts, and TRIO@BCC is proud to support our first-generation students!


Are you a first-generation student? In short, being a first-gen student means that your parents did not complete a four-year college or university degree, and that you are the first one to take the major step of going to university. You can read a more detailed definition on the NASPA-COE website.

There are many resources available at the national Center for First-Generation Student Success. You can also see what free learning opportunities and conferences there are!

Download our Zoom background to celebrate the day!

Student Stories

TRIO is proud to present stories, videos and six-word stories by our first-generation students. All stories and images were done in answer to the question: "What does being the first in your family to go to college represent?"

  • Read Autumn Bateman's story

    "In my first semester of college at the age of 55, I was in total fear of being at a school with lots of younger people. My stepson was with me that first day of school as my PCA, as I am in a wheelchair and felt even more out of place other than being old.

    During the first couple days of school, I went to this place called TRIO at school and sat down to a lunch they were having for first generation students. A couple other students were also there for lunch that had joined the TRIO program.

    One of the students that I sat near, was a girl from Costa Rica. We seemed to get along famously. I was in the Business Administration degree program, and she is in for the Nursing degree program.

    About a month later, we both found out we were in the Student Government Association. By the end of that first semester, I ended up being the secretary. By the end of the second semester, our friendship had grown, we had not met each other's families, but knew a lot about them. We also became the President of the SGA and the student Trustee to the Board of Trustees for the college."

  • Read Simeon Mercier's story

    "During my first semester at college, at 17 years old, I remember the day when I was limping into my chemistry class and a classmate asked if I was okay. On this day, I was wearing a Denver Broncos sweatshirt, the same as practically any other day I attended college. Nobody else was in the classroom yet, he must've only been there for a few minutes studying for the upcoming exam. We were just about to take an exam, it was a little cold this morning, and we started talking about the exam coming up in a couple minutes. This led to a conversation about my recent injury and our future. He talked about how he was at a different college last year, and how he transferred to BCC because they didn't have his program of study.

    This person has also taken a lot of classes that were not for his major, so he ended up dropping them. He went to an advisor before the semester, and they set him up with the wrong classes. To make sure that this doesn't happen to me (before I even knew that it could happen at all) I went onto the BCC website and looked at the recommended pathway to graduation for my program of study. When I met with an advisor to pick classes for this semester, I knew which classes I needed and which ones I didn't. I would say that since I looked online at what I needed to do to graduate with an associates degree in biology, I had an unfair advantage.

    We both went to the same advisor in the summer to pick our classes, it is just that I had the knowledge of what classes I needed, and he did not, he went off of everything that the advisor told him to take for his program of study and sadly those classes will not transfer to the college he wants to go to. Yes, I did have the unfair advantage, but I also did research on what to take, and I discovered that on the BCC website all on my own. I learned a lot about him in this short period of time, and even though I knew to pick the right classes for my program of study, I am more cautious about it now. Him and I talk about this every so often and he was only able to take 7 credits this semester because he had to drop a lot of classes that did not fit in his program of study and that would not transfer to the school he wants to go to."

  • Student Stories, 6-Word Stories and Images

Past Events

  • First-Gen Day 2022: "Generations of First-Generations"
    Date/Time Event Description Location Presenter
    Nov. 7
    2 to 3 p.m.
    Students' Personal Narrative Writing Workshop Writing workshop: telling the stories of being a first-generation BCC student Student Writing Center (M-401) Liesl Schwabe
    Nov. 8
    9 to 10:30 a.m.
    Celebrating First-Generation Students at BCC Breakfast with first-generation students Connector TRIO
    Nov. 8
    9 to 10:30 a.m.
    Student Support Resources Tabling Announcements Connector Student support offices, Library, TRIO and Student Success programs
    Nov. 8
    12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
    Staff/faculty only: Acknowledging the Hidden Curriculum Training centered on educating BCC faculty and staff on the hidden curriculum and its impact on our first-generation students G-12 Dean Theresa O'Bryant, MCLA
    Nov. 9
    noon to 2:30 p.m.
    Student Visit to MCLA Campus BCC students will connect with peers and staff from MCLA office, and learn about academic offerings MCLA MCLA
    Nov. 9
    4 to 5:30 p.m.
    Staff/faculty only: Faculty Workshop Rachel Gable, author of "The Hidden Curriculum" will lead faculty through a workshop Williams College Rachel Gable
    Nov. 10
    2 p.m.
    Staff/faculty only: Faculty Share-Back Session at BCC The Center for Teaching, Learning and Innovation (CTLI) will host a session during which participating faculty can share about the hidden curriculum H-201 CTLI
  • First-Gen Student Celebration Week 2021

    This Monday Nov. 8, BCC and MCLA will host an all-day celebration of First Generation Learners, Staff and Faculty. View the program below and join us!

    Event Date/Time Details

    "Generations of First Generations" Panel

    Monday, Nov. 8, 10 to 11 a.m.

    Hear from other first generation peers of MCLA and BCC! Forum Credit

    In person — Koussevitzky 111; on Zoom

    BCC Student Support Resources Fair

    Monday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Join us to learn about all the student support resources available at BCC!

    In person - Koussevitzky Lobby

    Speak with the BCC Strategic Planning Team Monday, Nov. 8, noon to 1 p.m.

    What do you want the future of BCC to look like? Forum Credit

    Share your ideas and dreams and participate in Strategic Conversations using an ACTUAL strategic planning method. It's resume worthy, too!

    First Generation Art Fair

    Monday, Nov. 8, all day

    Come in person and view first generation student art in Koussevitzky Lobby

    Visit to MCLA and campus tour

    Wednesday, Nov. 10, noon to 1:30 p.m.

    • Free lunch with MCLA TRIO students and campus partner guests.
    • Admissions Information Session
    • Campus Tour
  • First-Gen Student Celebration Week 2020

    In 2020, BCC and the TRIO Center hosted its first week long series of events in support ofour first-generation students. The week F.I.R.S.T @ BCC week featured student panels, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) talks, and a celebration of 20 years of TRIO at BCC. Find below the flyers for all the events.

Network with BCC Offices and Partners