STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS The Joys and Challenges of Being the First Member of the Family to Attend College Stacy Holmes Major Program of Study: Jennifer Khuy Major Program of Study: Human Services Being the first college student in my family has actually brought me closer to my family members – and closer to the Lowell community. Being a nontraditional student and a new mother is a challenge I still struggle with today. Family is very important to me and having to balance home, work and school ensures that I do my best not to neglect anything that keeps that balance in line. Engaging in MCC’s Work Study Program has allowed me to work with students while being a student, and helped me realize I want to work with and help people as a Human Services major. At the Multicultural Center’s fall 2016 Social Justice Conference I was invited to speak and share my journey from homelessness to Middlesex. This experience gave me a new perspective and ensured that I will take my story from Middlesex to fight against homelessness carrying the tools needed to be successful as my story continues. Early Childhood Education Transfer Being the first in my family to attend college comes with a lot of pressure. My family doesn’t believe you need a degree to have a successful career. I believe that education is what drives and motivates you toward a successful career. I tend to be my only supporter. When you are your only cheerleader, it’s hard to believe in yourself. Being a full-time student with four to five classes per semester, a full-time mom, and a part-time preschool teacher; I need that extra support in my studies. MCC gives me the extra support I’m missing from home. TRIO is my rock – and it’s not just one person, but everyone there, staff and students. They get to know you on a personal level, so they know what resources can help you. I cannot say how grateful I am to be a part of a big TRIO family. A college education is the first step. College is hard, but finishing is your first step out the door. If you can multitask by juggling life, school and work, while succeeding in all three areas, you are naturally ready and motivated to continue forward toward anything life throws at you. 8 | Profiles