California State University, Fresno
First Generation Stories



Story Submission Guidelines

Your first-person story could be the spark that a student needs to pursue a college education or continue in school while facing adversity.

To do that, we need stories that offer a glimpse into your educational journey: the highs, the lows, the people who helped, and the lessons you learned.

You may want to write in a chronologic style or a narrative based on an all-important moment in your life. Please write a maximum of 1,200 words.

Here are some questions that may help you reflect on your experience and focus your writing:

  • Since you were the first in your family to go to college, what made you want to go or what made you think that you could? When did you first realize that you wanted to?
  • What was it like to be the first in your family to go to college? What experience was most difficult, or important, or funniest, oddest, most helpful, or most memorable?
  • What role did a mentor play in your decision to be first in your family to attend and/or complete college?

Since our target audience is high school and college students, write in a reader-friendly style for that age group. Use lots of detail – e.g. instead of saying “I was raised in a small community,” say “I was raised in a town of only 350 people.” If foreign language words are appropriate, use them – e.g. “my tios and tias.



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