The First Gen Experience event featured an alumni panel followed by networking with alumni in specific career fields.

Alumni Testimonials:

I was so happy to serve my Bruin community at First Gen Networking Night. It was incredible to be in a setting of all first-generation college students and college graduates where we worked to uplift one another and serve as resources to access spaces that were not originally created for our communities. Go Bruins! – Victoria Vezaldenos ’18

Future leaders of this world are busy working, thinking, engaging and becoming better people for this world. They are seeking others to help them get there.
 Oscar Echeverria ’09

The UCLA students I met were smart, eager, interested and focused. It was a pleasure to talk to them about my field, answer their questions and give them some suggestions on how to enter that field. A very enjoyable night. – Robert Klepa ’86


A celebration in honor of National First Gen Day, held at Santa Monica Brew Works.


First-Gen/My Journey to College Partnership

For the third consecutive year, the First-Gen Alumni Network partnered with the MyJTC program to conduct networking with first-generation students and inspire them to attend college. Watch this video to learn more about our special partnership and the students we serve.

FirstGen Inaugural Launch

We held the FirstGen Inaugural Launch Night on Feb. 5, 2018. Juana Hernandez ’09, our featured speaker, set the tone relating her personal odyssey as a #FirstGenBruin and alumni volunteer who believes that we receive by giving back. Our FirstGen Alumni filled the room with incredible energy as they connected throughout the night.

This was a wonderful beginning for the network, which we will move forward with the help of the 25 alumni who signed up to be part of the network’s planning committee. This committee will do so much to further shape this network’s mission and legacy.

Juana Hernandez ’09, our featured speaker, shares her powerful story, and her belief that we receive by giving back.

FirstGen Alumni excited about the launch of our new network!

FirstGen Mentor Kickoff Pre-Reception

UCLA FirstGen Mentors – spanning across the fields of medicine, finance, technology and museum art – meet and mingle, while sharing mentorship strategies, and reflecting on what being FirstGen means to them.

2nd Annual FirstGen Welcome Soirée

FirstGen alumni and students connected over dinner on the Hill at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. Alumni are volunteering to serve as mentors for this group of exceptional Bruins.

Desiree Martinez’17 featured in Huffington Post and La Opinión  

Desiree Martinez ’17, a sociology major and passionate advocate for equal access to education, recently wrote a letter to a former high teacher who had discouraged her from applying to UCLA. Buoyed  by the encouragement of another teacher at the same school, Desiree pursued her dream of attending UCLA and becoming the first in her family to graduate from college. As a First Gen alumna and a Writing Fellow with La Compadre, Desiree continues her advocacy efforts by encouraging and inspiring families to support their students’ educational success. To read Desiree’s letter, click here

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