First Generation Students

First-generation college students have a lot to be proud of as they become the first in their families to complete a college degree. There are also stresses that other students may not experience. At GU, we have support and community through our Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC). View the videos below as four first-generation students tell their stories of becoming a Zag.



“I Belong Here”—Kyle from Aiea, HI

Kyle was drawn to Gonzaga because of the sense of community and has found himself growing from the support and experiences he has gained.


“The Right Choice”—Charé from East St. Louis, IL

Charé is proud of her time at Gonzaga as well as the example she sets for her family by being the first to graduate from college.


“Pay it Forward”—Rene from Tacoma, WA

Rene credits mentors for helping him reach success. At Gonzaga he is learning to be a leader so that he may give back to his community and support young people from similarly difficult backgrounds.


“Become the Best Person”—Yachana from Reedsport, OR

Yachana chose Gonzaga because of the people and, through her time at Gonzaga, has felt supported by the community to become the best person she can be.