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.
As an undergrad from Long Island in the 1980s, Uzi Baram didn’t think much about being a first-generation college student at SUNY-Binghamton. “I worked hard, I made good grades,” he said. But by the time he got to graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he noticed a difference between first-generation students and those with academic backgrounds, such as those with parents who were doctors and lawyers. “They knew the system.”
His work ethic, he says, helped him bridge that gap. “A lot of it was perseverance.”
Now, in his 21st year teaching anthropology at New College, he says that experience helps him in his work. “I never expect new students to have all the skill sets they need. I make it clear they can talk to me,” he said. “I do a lot of outreach.
“After 21 years, you can tell the students for which everything is hard, because I can relate to that.”