First Generation Student, Kimberly Laura, leaves her mark at the Honors College


Community and interaction on campus span far beyond the residence halls or the classrooms. It lies within the organizations and activities on campus. While every story is different, Kim Laura’s story originates in the Honors College, which helped her in making Mason a home.  

Throughout Kim Laura’s time at Mason, community has been a staple in shaping her college experience. From taking Principles of Research and Inquiry (HNRS 110) as a freshman to serving as the treasurer for F1rst Gen Mason, a student organization that connects first generation college students to one another and helpful resources, and the lead graphic design intern for the Honors College Communications Team, Laura has seen the power of the Mason community at work. 

Laura is a junior community health major with a concentration in clinical science. Beyond the classroom, Laura is involved with multiple organizations on campus, F1rst Gen Mason and the Honors College Communications Team, and it is this growing community that inspires her. In both teams she serves as an integral member of the executive board, helping to make the organizations thrive. 

Laura is a first-generation college student, and as she made the already difficult transition from high school to university life, she grappled with the struggle of knowing who to ask for help in this strange and unfamiliar place. 

However, this unfamiliarity did not last too long.  

Laura discovered F1rst Gen Mason, a program that connects students who are the first in their family to attend college with students like them, faculty, and other resources to help them succeed. Laura started as just a member of this organization--guided by the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), which aided her the summer before her first semester—but after her first year in the program, she wanted to be more involved in the leadership. 

Kimberly Laura

Laura became the treasurer of First Gen Mason to help other students overcome the same anxiety that she once did, and to stay involved in the community. Laura recognized that other students faced the same problems, and more, as she did and wanted to be an integral part in their transition to college. 

Being a part of First Gen Mason brought Laura closer to other students like herself, and she remarks that the organization helped her embrace her identity as a first-generation student more. Mason’s clubs and organizations help many students like Laura get connected on campus, and make them feel at home. Laura felt this connection to other students similar to herself made college easier to navigate, as it provided her with both social and academic resources that helped her to succeed.  

F1rst Gen Mason is not the only way Laura has cultivated a home for herself in the Honors College. As a member of the Honors College communications team, Laura feels she has grown closer to her Honors College peers. She has stayed connected to the Honors College outside of the classroom and enjoys using her graphic design talents to assist the college and its participants. 

Though Laura majors in community health, she found herself wanting to pursue her hobby in graphic design, and the Honors College communications team was the perfect way to do that.  

Says Laura, “the Honors College community are ready and willing to help you throughout your academic journey.” As her first job, the Honors College gave her a strong foundation for her academic success. This team connected her to various Honors College staff and peers that care about her success and wellbeing and enhanced her community experience on campus. 

Laura’s community continues to grow and change as her time at Mason progresses. However, one thing is certain: she is supported wherever she goes.