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First Generation


Valerie Mendoza

Welcome First Generation Blue Devils!

Being the first in your family to go to college is both exciting and challenging. There’s a place for you here. We’re here to provide you a community of Fearless Firsts. You belong. XX% of KCKCC applicants are first generation

What is a First-Generation Student?

First-generation students are those with neither parent/guardian having earned a 4-year college degree.

As one of the first in your family to go to college, you possess strengths that will serve you well as a college student including enthusiasm, self-control, curiosity, perseverance/grit, optimism, gratitude and social intelligence.

KCKCC will help you tap into those strengths while also providing you with information and resources on how to navigate college.

From your first day you’ll find a strong network and support system as well as a vibrant community of students, alums, faculty and staff with shared experiences. We’re here to guide you every step of the way toward your educational goals, from advising you on financial aid and what classes to take for a seamless transfer, to coaching you on how to achieve an effective work/school/life balance and how to start a career that best suits your interests.

First-Generation Student Support

The Student Retention and Career Coach will help you:

  • Connect to campus resources
  • Adapt to Kansas City Kansas Community College
  • Receive practical advice, encouragement, and support
  • Recognize your abilities
  • Open a variety of opportunities
  • Learn from the experience of first-gen staff and faculty 
  • Live your dreams

Fearless First

Are you a first-generation student? Fearless First is for you. The Fearless First Club provides first-generation students with:

  • Resources to support students ‘educational and career goals
  • Events designed specifically for first-generation students
  • Connections with other first-generation students
  • Mentorship from some first-generation faculty and staff

The purpose of the Fearless First club is to create a community that represents, supports and teaches first-generation students at KCKCC. The club accomplishes its purpose by creating events, hosting guest speakers, providing resources, and creating an inclusive atmosphere for students to learn about first-gen issues and how to support one another.

Fearless First promotes campus involvement and visibility with a focus on the retention and success of all first-generation college students at KCKCC. We are here to serve as a resource hub to assist current students as they navigate the campus and provide support in building community. We are open to any first-generation student at any time! Being first-generation college is an accomplishment that should be celebrated! 

First-Generation Faculty Initiative

KCKCC strives to send a clear message to all first-generation college students: "You belong here, and you are capable of achieving at the highest levels".

KCKCC serves large numbers of first-generation college students: Nearly XX of students who began their studies are the first-generation in their families to attend college. The First-Generation Faculty Initiative aims to elevate the visibility of KCKCC faculty and academic leaders who were themselves first-generation college students. The main purpose of the initiative is to foster a sense of belonging that can boost retention and success rates among first generation students.

The First-Generation Faculty Initiative is a network of first-generation faculty committed to supporting first-generation students. They are active in the community, promote their first-generation identities, and advocate for the first-generation community at KCKCC.

As the Student Success Center tries to establish the First-Generation Faculty Initiative, we hope to accomplish the following goals:

  • Greater transparency of first-generation faculty across campus
  • An established community of students, faculty, and staff through Fearless First events and networking opportunities
  • Increased cross-campus support for first-generation students

Are you a KCKCC faculty member and identify as first-generation college? Join the faculty campaign by filling out this brief form! KCKCC faculty and staff: If you were a first-generation college student and you would like to mentor a student, contact Valerie Mendoza at or 913-288-7251.

Want to stay up to date on first-gen specific resources, job opportunities, internships, volunteer opportunities and Fearless First events? Fill out the above form and contact Valerie Mendoza at or 913-288-7251.

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