My Experience as a First-Generation Student - Fabiola Rivera

Fabiola RiveraFabiola Rivera and her family Immigrated to the United States from Michoacán Mexico when she was 3 years old. She became a United States Citizens in 2011, before entering high school. She is the first in her family to be able to attend college in the United States and pursue a degree.

"I was able to accomplish much more than what I thought was possible, with the resources and support that the University of Memphis has given me."

Fabiola is currently a sophomore enrolled in the Fogelman College of Business at the University of Memphis. Her major is International Business with a double minor in Spanish, and nonprofit management. She is in the process of completing her BMA in four years, while also working as a student assistant for the President's Office.

"I have always been interested in the interaction between cultures through commerce, this fascination was sparked through my own experience when traveling. I knew The University of Memphis was ideal for me because of the wide range of business and international business courses. Having spent a year at the UofM, I know that classes are challenging yet interesting and that I have several ways to explore what my major has to offer."

Fabiola remembers being worried of what she was going to experience and expect from college life. College is a frightening fact to face for any student, especially for first-generation students. "The thing I was worried about the most at first was registering for classes. Luckily, we meet up with our advisors before we can register for classes, this was especially helpful for me and took a lot of the stress away from registration. I contact my advisor when I have any questions or concerns regarding my class schedule."

"Another resource I used to help me in my first year were the registered student organizations here on campus. They are a great way to meet new people from different cultures and backgrounds. Registered student organizations also offer ways to be active on and off campus through various events and activities." Fabiola serves as the President of the only RSO specifically founded for first-generation students called Tigers First.

Her most valuable asset that has encouraged and aided her through her college experience are the people she has encountered. "I have never been a social person and would have never thought of becoming close to so many people in just a year. The students and faculty at the University of Memphis have been very kind and helpful, they make the University feel like home. The friends I have made have not just helped me with class work and projects, but they have also motivated me to be successful. My scholarship coordinators have presented me with so many opportunities to build up my strengths and leadership skills. I was able to accomplish much more that what I thought was possible, with the resources and support that the University of Memphis has given me."

"My experience as a first-generation student at The University of Memphis has boosted my confidence in my own abilities and opened new doors filled opportunities."

Fabiola's Advice to first-generation students - "Have a positive attitude and work hard for what you want to achieve."