Chapman House
“We shouldn’t expect [first-gens] to choose between their past and the promise of the future, or make them ashamed of where they come from." – Richard Greenwald

Who is a first-generation student?

First-generation students include those for whom one or both parents did not attend or complete college. They come from all different backgrounds and cultures. They all have different experiences and struggles.

A Day in the Life

Kitu Humphrey is a senior communication studies major and safety on the Cal Poly Football team. Not only is he an important member of the team, but an important member to his family. He is a first-generation college student and one of the few African American’s attending the university.

Kitu Humphrey wakes up at 4:30 every morning to prepare for mandatory early practices with his team and coaches at 6
a.m. He stretches, has a quick snack and then heads to the football field.
“There’s a lot of pressure for me to succeed. Being the first one to go to college and play football, I have a lot of people
looking up to me. Friends from home, kids I grew up with, my siblings, I don’t want to disappoint anyone. It’s hard coming
from a place where people looked like me to a place where I feel I don’t fit in. But God has a plan for me and I’m meant to
be here. So, I’m gonna do what I gotta do and make the most out of this. I’m blessed to be able to play the sport I love and
receive a degree from a good school.” Kitu with his teammate, linebacker Patrick Walker, senior communication studies major, in between classes. The two of
them use this time to relax a little before going back to classes and meetings. “He’s become one of my best friends. We spend
a lot of time together on and off the field.” - Patrick Walker After a full day of classes and mandatory team meetings, at 7 p.m., Kitu heads to the practice football field to run drills by
himself. He uses this time to clear his head, he finds it therapeutic. After a series of stretches, Kitu prepares for his workout by doing suicide drills to warm-up. He always begins with
stretching, followed by some cardio drills and then focuses on a specific skill to practice on. Finished with his workout for the night, Kitu heads back to the locker room to change and shower before going home. He
was interrupted with a phone call from his mom, who lives in Los Angeles, and gave her a detailed rundown of his week. Once he gets home from late workouts, he makes dinner and starts on homework. Before going to bed every night, he reads
at least one chapter from a book. His current read is “The New Jim Crow”, by Michelle Alexander. Since coming to college
Kitu, has found himself drawn to learning more about his culture and black history. During Cal Poly’s bye week, Kitu does not take any days off and continues to work out. He and his teammate, defensive
back Caden Ochoa, freshman communication studies major, spend their Sunday afternoon practicing and running drills.
“We always workout together. It’s nice having each other to push and motivate each other, and we aren’t afraid to call each
other out to correct mistakes. I really look up to him and glad I get to learn from him.” - Caden Ochoa Kitu doing footwork drills on the practice field on a Sunday afternoon, during his bye week and rest day. Kitu dedicates his
time to self-improvement, whether it is in the class room or on the football field. With his free-time he works out and goes
over plays.

Personal Stories

Every student has a unique story. Click on the images to hear these students. Double click to pause.

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Making Cal Poly Home

Erik Espinoza is a senior biomedical engineering major at Cal Poly. He is also a first generation college student. Watch the video to hear about his time in college.


Ocean Sand