Share your first-gen story…

Create a YouTube video testimonial to share your “I’m First!” story with students who are working hard to follow in your footsteps. Here are some tips and instructions.


Video Story Tips & Instructions


Prepare your message.

Begin your video with “My name is __ and I’m first!” Then tell your story and offer some advice for students who will be the first generation in their family to go to college. If you’re an aspiring first-generation college student, say “My name is __ and I will be first!” and tell us why going to college is important to you. You may wish to write down some thoughts to prepare.  


Make sure we can hear you.

We want to hear what you have to say! Pick a quiet place to make your video. Speak clearly and project your voice.  


Make sure we can see you.

Light should be on your face and not behind it — i.e. don’t sit in front of a bright window. If you like, wear your college sweatshirt or an I’m First T-shirt. Order here  


Record your video and upload to YouTube.

Use your webcam or smartphone to record the video. Please keep your video under three (3) minutes in length. To upload your video, sign in to YouTube or create an account.  


Add a title and tags.

Title your video “I’m First” and include your first name and location – for example: “I’m First: Matt in Bethesda, MD.” Include a short description about yourself and your video and use tags to describe your video so that other people can find it. Some tags to include are firstgen, imfirst, college, center for student opportunity, cso.  


License your content.

When you upload your video to YouTube, select “Creative Commons – Attribution” under “License and rights ownership.” This will allow us and our partners to share your video.


Download Tips & Instructions for Creating a Video

Write your “I’m First!” story to share with students who are working hard to become the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. Here are some tips and instructions.

Written Story Tips & Instructions


Prepare your message.

What do you want to tell students who will be the first in their family to go to college? Tell us what college means to you or share a piece of advice. Describe an important moment or person who helped you along the way.

Keep it short.

Stories must be 150 words or less, so you’ll want to keep it short and to the point.

Check your work.

Check spelling, grammar, proofread and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Read it aloud.

You might feel silly, but it’s a great way to edit your work and ensure it makes sense and says what you want to say.


Here’s an example!