Farmingdale State College

Kaitlyn Mackey (2013)

My First Generation Story

My name is Kaitlyn Mackey and I am the middle child in my family. I live with my parents, my younger sister and my niece, who stays with us on the weekends and holidays, in Long Island, New York. My parents never had the chance to go to college after they graduated from high school, because they did not have the funds for it. I also have an older sister who did not attend college either. My older sister had passed away in the fall of 2010; this was my junior year in high school. Generally, most people would shut themselves up in their room after a tragedy like this occurred, however, I did not let it affect my school work. I continued with my high school education, using it as an outlet, and I made the top 10 percent of my graduating class in my senior year.

I never actually thought about what I wanted to do after graduating from high school until the middle of my senior year. Most of my classmates already applied to various schools and were accepted; I, on the other hand, never applied until March 2012. I finally decided that I wanted to be a graphic designer and looked at schools with that program that were on the island. Then one day my graphic design teacher suggested that I look at Farmingdale State College since that is where she went. I attended the college’s open house to see the campus and found out that they have a program for first generation students, ASAP, where first generation students can go for help with anything they need.

I am attending Farmingdale State College and I am trying to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication: Graphic Design. I am a first semester sophomore and in my freshman year, I achieved a 3.35 GPA and also made the Dean’s List. Since nobody on either side of my parent’s families ever finished college, I am the first to be earning a college degree. I know that they are all proud of me and some of them even tell their friends about me, to the point that they are tired of hearing about me and my latest achievement. Instead of feeling pressured by my family’s expectations, I use it as motivation so that I will continue to make them proud no matter what obstacles come my way.

About the Student

Kaitlyn Mackey, Farmingdale

Kaitlyn Mackey is a first semester sophomore at Farmingdale State College. In hopes of becoming a graphic designer, she is transferring into Farmingdale's Visual Communications Department for graphic design this fall. She says, "I have a passion for art and couldn't imagine my life without it. Being the first person in my family to go to college is nerve-wrecking; however, I know that no matter what I decide to do, my family will be behind me every step of the way."

Student Stats

Name: Kaitlyn Mackey (2013)
Age: 18
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Visual Communications
Favorite Course: Digital Media & Methods
Dream Job: Graphic Designer

About the School

Farmingdale State logo

Farmingdale State College plays a critical role not just in teaching its students, but in shaping them. At Farmingdale, students enjoy small, personalized classes that prepare them for a successful career through the use of real-world technologies and critical thinking. Whether it's working alongside award-winning faculty in a research laboratory or experiencing a hands-on internship, Farmingdale is a place where knowledge is a path to achievement and discovery.



  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662