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First to Soar

First-generation students bring many amazing abilities, strengths and perspectives to campus. The first week in November was National First-Generation College Week, when UMass Lowell celebrated them.

Find Out What Our First-gen Students Are up To

Kevin Akers sits on a bench outside on UMass Lowell's North campus outside Perry Hall

KEVIN AKERS
Mechanical Engineering

As one of the university’s first DC-CAP Scholars, mechanical engineering major Kevin Akers is pursuing his dream of becoming an astronaut — while also continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.

headshot of Carla Gonzalez Hidalgo

CARLA GONZALEZ HIDALGO
Business

Carla Gonzalez Hidalgo is a full-time student and her family’s sole support. Yet she finds time to volunteer for causes she believes in.

UMass Lowell student Andre DiFilippo skydives

ANDRE DIFILIPPO 
Marketing & Management

After making his mark at UML as Student Government Association president, Manning School of Business senior Andre DiFilippo is excited to get started on a sales career.

Flore Stécie Norcéide at laptop

FLORE STÉCIE NORCÉIDE
Computer Engineering

Flore Stécie Norcéide won an Oprah Winfrey Scholarship to study computer engineering here.

Chummeng Soun performs with Flying Orb, a group of younger Cambodian-American dancers in Lowell

CHUMMENG SOUN
Asian Studies & Digital Media

Chummeng Soun is documenting the traditional dances of his native Cambodia with support from the Center for Asian American Studies and the Southeast Asian Digital Archive.

headshot of Daryle Lamonica

DARYLE LAMONICA 
Biology

Marine Corps veteran Daryle LaMonica is on the fast track to becoming a doctor through the UMass Medical School Baccalaureate to M.D. Pathway Program.

Twisha Mohapatra

TWISHA MOHAPATRA
Business

Twisha Mohapatra says her experiences in the River Hawk Scholars Academy and the Honors College have boosted her confidence, taught her leadership skills and set her up for academic success.

Edward Morante at exhibit

EDWARD MORANTE
Education

During his freshman year at UMass Lowell, Edward gained confidence through hands-on teaching experience at an elementary school classroom.

Coral Gonzalez, one of the first UMass Lowell Oprah Winfrey Scholars, poses with Oprah herself

CORAL GONZALEZ
Nursing

Coral Gonzalez set her sights on becoming a nurse after she was hospitalized in middle school. The Honors College student won one of the first Oprah Winfrey Scholarships to help her succeed.

More First-Gen Stories & News