L. Esthela Bañuelos, Academic Senate Analyst [Photo credit: Gwynn Benner]

I was born and raised in a working class neighborhood in Southeast Los Angeles, a daughter of immigrants who courageously came to an entirely new country seeking a better life.  My route to higher education began at community college. 

"Being first-generation and completing my BA means everything! It means we are paving the way for future generations to be able to see that we can and have been able to accomplish this, and that we do belong here..."   -- a 2018 graduating first-gen student

The First Generation Initiative seeks to collaboratively build a network of faculty, staff, students, and alumni who identify as first-generation or as supporters of our first-generation student population.

  • Read more about our goals.
  • Meet our first-gen alumni, faculty, staff, and students.
  • Join our effortOver 900 alumni, emeriti, faculty, staff, and students have already signed up to be part of this initiative.

For more information about the UC Santa Cruz First Generation Initiative, contact us via email at  

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