First-Generation Stories: Sara Friend

Sara Friend
Sara Friend

Editor’s Note: First-Generation Student Recognition Day is Thursday, Nov. 8. New College of Florida is celebrating first-generation students by telling some of their stories.

Sara Friend was disappointed when she found no programming for first-generation students at New College, especially during the crucial first year, so she decided to do something about it.

“I found out about [first generation] programming during an internship with student affairs,” said Friend, who organized and is hosting the closing event of First-Generation College Student Recognition Day at New College, First Gen Chat. The chat will take place at the Gender and Diversity Center, and it will give first-generation students an opportunity to share their experiences, build community and identify needs.

Friend believes the most effective programming would “proactively reach out and connect with first-generation students. There’s room for that” at New College, she said, though the administration has made improvements since she arrived on campus.

“Orientation had an affinity group for first-generation students for the first time this year. It’s a gradual process. You can’t build it overnight.”


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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