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Yub Kim, a graduate assistant at the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, is working to break down barriers first-generation college students may face on campus. He's started the '1st Gen Blue Streak' program to recognize and assist first-generation students facing cultural & social capital gaps during their college experience. 


First-generation students are not recognizable to the naked eye; therefore, their experience of marginalization from this specific identity can be more challenging. While JCU does provide comprehensive student resources, first-gen students may need more awareness or assistance to tap into existing aid.


first gen

Yub Kim (right) Discusses the 1st Gen Blue Streak Program at a recent Tower Time

As a first-generation student, Kim can relate to navigating higher education without parental advice and other resources many students are accustomed to having.

It was a challenge for me to get anything started. I didn’t know where to start or who to ask. It’s hard to set plans when you don’t even know the necessary steps. The program will highlight the gap first-generation students may have and bridge them to available resources.

As John Carroll continues to emphasize the importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging, the 1st Gen Blue Streak program embodies the strides the University is taking to create an experience that aligns with the Jesuit value of caring for the whole person. One of Kim's goals for the program is to develop a network of student allies who can provide assistance and insight to first-generation students. 


In addition to providing resources for students, the program also aims to create first-generation pride on JCU's campus. To visually represent this goal, the CSDI office has made First-Gen Proud stickers for staff and faculty members. The hope is for first-generation staff and faculty members to put the sticker in their offices or on their personal belongings to let first-gen students know they are not alone. CSDI office is located at DJ Lombardo Student Center on the 2nd floor (above the bookstore) office number 202. 


Kim and the CSDI office have organized several upcoming events to inform JCU students, staff, and faculty about their vision and how you can help realize those goals. Click here for a complete list of events and how you can contribute to the success and sense of belonging of JCU’s first-generation students.