We are #FirstGenProud of our First-Generation Students

Shayla Sandlin

Shayla Sandlin is a 2017 graduate of Fairfield High School, majoring in Nursing. She is a member of the Miami University Nursing Student Association and will graduate this May.

Sandlin shared what being #FirstGenProud means to her. “Not only am I a first-generation college student, but I’m also a child of two addicts. College was more of a dream than a reality growing up, especially coming from a family where it wasn’t even an option for them. Finding a college close to home that I could afford was important because I wanted to be a first-generation college student. Still, I also wanted to break the generational cycle of addiction. Finding Miami made my college dream a reality. These past four years at Miami have been super humbling and have driven my motivation to be different from my family. Being the first to attend college in my family, I hope will start generations of college graduates or at least give them the option to further their education I almost didn’t have.”

Destiny Williams

Destiny Williams is a 2018 graduate of Fairfield High School, majoring in Psychological Sciences.

Williams shares the meaning behind being #FirstGenProud for her. “I'm a first-generation high school student on my father’s side of the family. It didn’t really hit home what this achievement meant until my grandpa told me attending my graduation was one of the coolest things he’s ever seen because he had never seen one before. Being a first-generation college student and soon-to-be graduate has been one of the most rewarding feelings of accomplishment. I can’t wait to walk across that stage and see my name on my diploma. It will be the first time my family (maternal and paternal) will see and hold one. Miami Regionals has made this dream possible for me. I am beyond thankful to my professors who have been flexible and helpful throughout my time at Miami Hamilton!”