Being the first person in your family to attend college can come with more than a few challenges. These four students – all enrolled in the TRIO Student Success Program – share some of the ups and downs of being first-generation college students. Hamid Bouagal Major Program of Study: Theresa Sherman Major Program of Study: Information Technology – Cybersecurity As the first member of my family to go to school in the U.S., I feel like I have opened the door to success for my future children. When I first came to the U.S. from Morocco in 2014, understanding English was a challenge. People speak much faster than I was expecting! Also, working at night and going to school in the day was very hard. Now, I have an internship in IT support, so I go to school during the morning and work in the afternoon. The TRIO staff is amazing – they always are ready to help. More than that, they keep telling us about more opportunities, such as universities and college visits. And in the Tutoring Center I have the chance to tutor students who are going through the same experience I went through. It is just amazing how much they want us to be involved. Early Childhood Education I am extremely proud of myself for being the first member of my family to attend college – especially considering I waited until I was 45 years old to enroll. The biggest challenge was adapting to all the modern technology students have to use these days to complete their courses. Learning all the new computer programs and online tools for my classes was difficult. The TRIO Program has been so helpful assisting me with all my questions. Middlesex offers such great support services. The library staff is always there and ready to assist you. TRIO is a terrific program that assists students with course selections and academic help, and helps with future classes or goals you want to achieve. The Writing Center is another place that assisted me with writing research papers, drafting essays, and helped with any other questions I may have had. I’ll never forget seeing my grades after my first semester. I was so excited to make the Dean’s List after all my hard work! — Kathy Register Profiles | 9