The Scripps Experience: Chronicling the Experiences of First-Gen Students


First gen community 

As the College welcomed its largest-ever cohort of first-year students this past fall, the First-Generation @ Scripps Newsletter was preparing to introduce the Scripps community to a few of those new faces on campus. The newsletter, currently in its fifth volume, is edited by the First-Gen Program co-coordinators and speaks to the experiences of Scripps students who are the first in their families to attend college. Co-coordinators Evelyn Gonzalez ’18 and Clarisse Salazar ’18 decided that “firsts” would be an appropriate theme to kick off the most recent issue.

“The inspiration for the theme of ‘firsts’ for the fall issue came from the Academic Convocation speech Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero gave on the first day of New Student Orientation,” say Gonzalez and Salazar. “She always dedicates a portion of her speech to giving a quick, fun snapshot of who the incoming students were in high school, based on their applications. We adapted that idea to create our ‘First Look at the First-Gen First-Years’ article.” The newsletter shares some fun facts about how the first-gen members of the Class of 2021 are getting involved at Scripps—other than academics—such as clubs and organizations and sports.

As they dug into the students’ experiences, Gonzalez and Salazar were impressed and inspired to discover so many first-years were already heavily involved in groups across The Claremont Colleges, sharing, “We are so happy that they weren’t hesitant to join groups and clubs and explore what the 5Cs have to offer.”

Each issue of the newsletter is the result of a collaboration between the co-coordinators and the First-Gen Program team, who meet to brainstorm and then develop news items and features that are timely and relevant to the first-gen community. In the process of creating the fall 2017 issue, Gonzalez and Salazar reflected on their personal experiences as first-gen, first-year students. “The newsletter not only offered an opportunity to highlight our amazing first-years and introduce them to our community, but it also presented a chance to think more broadly about what our experiences were and continue to be as first-generation students.” Stressing that they want the publication to include a range of perspectives, Gonzalez and Salazar encourage first-gen students, staff, and faculty to reach out and email story ideas to [email protected].

The duo say that hearing positive responses from their readers has been one of the most rewarding aspects of publishing the newsletter: “There is definitely an invested and interconnected community at Scripps who reads every word of the newsletter, so it is wonderful to hear that they love it!” Gonzalez and Salazar express appreciation for being part of that community, and are no doubt busily creating the next newsletter. The Scripps community can look forward to more issues to come throughout the academic year.

Read the most current issue of the First Generation @ Scripps newsletter here.