Many students that study at Texas Tech are among the first in their families to do so. An example of that is Kiley Ervine, who is also the First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs’ social program assistant.
Ervine, a junior human development and family studies and pre-nursing dual major from Fort Worth, went to a small charter school and comes from a small family of her brother and her mother.
When Ervine first came to Tech, she said she felt a little lonely. But, a good friend of hers introduced her to the First Generation program and to one of its welcome events.
“If it wasn’t for him,” Ervine said, “I probably wouldn’t be doing our program today.”
The event was at Urbanovsky Park, Ervine said, and it was there she met many of her friends.
Since then, Ervine said, she has become both a mentor for first-generation college students and the social program assistant for First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs.
Ervine’s responsibilities as program assistant include planning social events for first-generation college students and accounting for aspects such as food and renting buildings, she said.
Priscilla Morales, the section coordinator for First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs and a graduate student in higher education from El Paso, said Ervine has adjusted well after attaining her position as the program assistant in the fall.
“She’s done great putting events together,” Morales said. “She’s really outgoing and easy to get along with, and she makes it easier for students to approach her.”
Ervine is a hard worker, who manages to get everything done on time, Morales said. She also fondly remembers each of the events hosted for first-generation students.
“Especially since I’m the one who plans the events,” Ervine said, “It makes me feel good that I did a good enough job for them to have fun.”
Many first generation students are close to one another because of their shared experiences, Ervine said. This explains her closeness to the other mentors in the program.
Lance Blair, a junior chemistry major from Humble, said one experience with Ervine that stood out to him was at a community-service project for Saving Grace Animal Center, where the students would walk dogs and clean kennels.
“I remember it so fondly, just because we have this profound love of animals, dogs specifically,” Blair said. “Even though she does have cats, and I can’t stand cats, but that’s beside the point.”
Ervine is not the only member of her immediate family who is a first-generation student.
Her brother attended Louisiana Tech University, though she and her brother had somewhat different experiences, Ervine said.
“Mine’s mostly academic,” Ervine said, “like school is mostly my hobby. Everybody says that’s what I’m known for, school being my hobby.”
Her brother got through college by receiving baseball scholarships, Ervine said.
Living far away from her mother, Ervine said, has been a struggle for her.
“I tend to turn from her when I’m stressed,” Ervine said. “FaceTime is cool, but it’s not the same as being there.”
Her goal for the future is to be a nurse in a large hospital around Fort Worth, she said, so she can be close to her family, as well.
In the meantime, Ervine said, she enjoys her work with the First Generation Transition & Mentor Programs.
“I don’t mind coming to work every day,” Ervine said. “Just kind of go from class to work. It’s very stress free.”