We’ve selected 8 awesome first-year college students who beat the odds to become the first in their family to attend college as winners of the 2013 I’m First Scholarship. Scholarship winners receive a $2,000 four-year, renewable award and blog here to chronicle their college experiences and give advice to younger students about making it to college.

The 8 winners are:

Alexa Rodriguez
Hometown: Compton, CA
College/University:  Wellesley College

Brenda Angulo Barrios
Hometown: Washington, DC
College/University:   Trinity Washington University

Dallas Simms
Hometown: Cape Charles, VA
College/University: University of Virginia

Khalil Johnson
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
College/University: Pitzer College

Michael Faikes
Hometown: Irmo, SC
College/University: College of Charleston

Omawatie Beharry
Hometown: Bronx, NY
College/University: Wellesley College

Samuel Hayes
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
College/University: Northern Arizona University

Ysabel Cuerva
Hometown: Bronx, NY
College/University: Stonehill College

In addition to following the blog, students and their supporters can sign up for the I’m First Dashboard to begin preparing for college and searching colleges and universities committed to supporting first-generation college students on their campuses. Once signed up, students will have the opportunity to apply for the I’m First Scholarship at the end of their senior year for the chance to become part of the blog!

To keep up with the new bloggers and the 25 previous winners still in college, please check back regularly!