I was born in Hawaiian Gardens, CA (near Long Beach), and grew up in  Modesto, CA. Three of my four grandparents did not complete high school due to family obligations (e.g., helping to raise siblings). My parents are both high school graduates. My dad is a mechanic and worked 10 hour days, standing in an open garage, for most of my life.

Rebecca Covarrubias is an assistant professor of social psychology at UC Santa Cruz and a first-generation college grad --she was the first in her family to earn a college degree. Here are her tips for other first-gen students to successfully navigate their first year on campus.

For more information about the #FirstGenUCSC campaign, contact