The College's Diversity Action Committee hosts an ongoing speaker series connecting first generation graduates with current Saints

In his Untold Story , Miguel Alvarado '05, associate director of financial aid, emphasized his first generation student status at the very beginning of his story. It's a badge he wears with pride, and he freely shares his experiences with others... including on Zoom as part of a First Generation Speaker Series hosted by the Diversity Action Committee. 

Miguel was joined on the panel by Kathleen Kiernan, assistant director for board and cabinet relations, who attended college for the first time when she was 40. Both speakers shared personal stories of struggle and triumph. Stacey Dearing, Ph.D., teaching assistant professor of English, is the first woman from her family to graduate from college. Dr. Dearing moderated the discussions. 

 These are excerpts of written reflections provided by students who attended the event:

"Talking [with the speakers] was truly so uplifting and inspiring. They made education seem so desirable because of how highly they speak of their own education. Because they are so successful, sharing their hardships created a major sense of comfort. Mr. Alvarado's quote, 'Don’t just conform, transform,” was very wise, and it is now my new favorite quote." 

"I realized at this point that no matter what gets in the way, follow what you love and whatever you do, work hard and be happy. It is important to stay disciplined and the path to success is never easy. I am also a first generation student, and I have seen the hard work my parents put in for me to receive an education. They take pride in education.”

 “During the First Generation Speaker Series we heard from two very influential, compelling, and inspiring people. Some things I took away from Kathleen is that, “Life is really big and there are so many great things ahead.” Also, “Sometimes you can learn from a negative example.”