First Gen Scholarship

The UCSF First Generation to College Scholarship was created in partnership with Student Financial Services to uplift first generation students who have contributed to the first gen community. The scholarship is need-based and eligible students are invited to apply every year. Scholarship applications are reviewed by a panel of UCSF first gen alumni.

Congratulations to the 20 recipients of the 2023 First Gen Scholarship!

Here they are with a few words of their own on the prompt, "What is something you are proud of being First Gen?" 

Angela AcostaAngela Acosta
School of Medicine

"I am not only proud of the resilience and determination I have developed on my journey as a first gen student, but also for the opportunity to use my experiences to inspire and mentor other students navigating higher education."

Rebecca BanhRebecca Banh
School of Dentistry

"I am proud of being first gen because I have learned to be adaptable and resourceful. I love the community and support that the first gen community has for each other."

Paola BenefoPaola Benefo
School of Dentistry

"Learning how to prioritize the activities (dancing, talking to family, church, journaling, creating content) over the weekend that keeps me inspired to show up as positive, optimistic, and ready to learn during the week. "

Daisy BrambilaDaisy Brambila
School of Medicine

"I am proud to be a part of the greater first-gen community and am proud to break generational barriers as the first physician in my family."

Hart CaligaganHart Caligagan
Physical Therapy

"Being first generation has instilled in me the importance of mentorship and has given me the power of grit, determination and resilience."

Melva Carvajal MejiaMelva Carvajal Mejia
School of Nursing

"I am proud to be an example to my children and family of perseverance and hard work!"

Olivia BallesterosZachary Dai
School of Dentistry

"I'm proud of my journey thus far and setting an example for future first generation students to achieve their dreams."

Sean GantherSean Ganther
School of Dentistry

"I take pride in being a first-generation trailblazer, paving a path for younger generations in my family, particularly in the fields of research and healthcare, where my efforts contribute to increasing diversity and representation, addressing a crucial need in both industries."

Selina HuangSelina Huang
School of Dentistry

"I take pride in being a first gen student because I can pay it forward by helping others from similar backgrounds in accessing and succeeding in higher education."

Marycon JiroMarycon Jiro
School of Medicine

"I'm proud of the road I have travelled with the support of my support systems and community–I couldn't have done what I have done without them!"

Melisa LanzarMelisa Lanzar
School of Pharmacy

"As a first-generation college student, I take immense pride in the journey my family's migration paved for me, as it not only allowed me to access higher education but also enabled me to embrace the diverse opportunities and experiences this country offers, shaping me into a more resilient and empathetic woman."

Elaine LuuElaine Luu
School of Dentistry

"As a first gen, I’m proud of the community that we have built on a micro and macro level!"

Cristhian MartinezCristhian Martinez
School of Dentistry

"I am proud of all of us who have made it here despite all of the barriers we have faced."

Michelle NguyenMichelle Nguyen
School of Dentistry


Nam NguyenNam Nguyen
School of Dentistry

"I'm proud of being first-gen because it taught me that the start of the journey doesn't define me; it's my resilience, hard work, and pursuit of excellence that truly matter."

Isiahs SadatIaisha Sadat
School of Nursing

"I'm proud to be paving the way for more Afghans in my community to enter the medical field, especially as the first in my family."

Danielle SanscharlesDanielle Senecharles
School of Nursing

"I take pride in being first generation, it gives me the privilege of honoring my ancestors and the shoulder I stand on."

Gurbinder SinghGurbinder Singh
School of Medicine

"I'm proud of being the first in my family to pursue higher education and break new ground in my family's journey."

Chelsey SouzaChelsey Souza
School of Pharmacy

"Discovering strength within the struggles of being first-gen, I am proud of the journey that shapes who I am today."

Vy TranVy Tran
School of Dentistry

“I am proud of making my dream come true due to the resilience and determination to overcome challenges, and the inspiration from other first generation supports me to navigate unpredictable paths and give back to the community.”

See previous recipients - 
2022 First Gen Scholarship Recipients
2021 First Gen Scholarship Recipients