Central Michigan University

Allen Seales (2013)

My First Generation Story

My name is Allen Seales and I am a first generation college student. I am an undergraduate senior at Central Michigan University, where I am majoring in sports management. Being the first in my family to attend college has been a real rollercoaster ride, as I have had some successes and shortcomings. These experiences as a first generation student have continued to be my motivation to becoming successful.

There are different stories and backgrounds of first generation students. Being a male from Flint, there are a lot of doubts in regards to the success of urban youth. I believe that the support system I had eliminated all of those doubts for me. I had support from family members, peers, coaches, faculty at my schools, and community members, because they all saw my potential for success. One of the most influential support systems I had was GEAR UP, a program that I began in middle school. GEAR UP aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. They provided me with many opportunities, including academic enrichment workshops, mentoring and college preparation. One of the issues that some first generation college students experience is the financial pressure of attending college. GEAR UP provided me with the financial literacy to apply for scholarships, and also helped me get used to college atmospheres. I chose Central Michigan with no hesitation after meeting the director of the GEAR UP program on campus. She has truly impacted my college experience and thanks to her and the GEAR UP program, I came to CMU with success in sight.

While attending CMU and being a part of GEAR UP, I feel I have enhanced my leadership and communications skills, particularly in the way I interact with people and network. My advice to someone that may be from a low-income or first-generation family is that college is possible. No matter what your situation might be, there is someone or something that can help you get where you want to be and become successful. As a current student mentor to the GEAR UP program, I enjoy providing an example to youth from the same community as me. I encourage students to stay involved as much as possible with college programs to become successful.

About the Student

Allen Seales

Allen Seales was born in Flint, Michigan to parents Margaret and Allen O'Donnie Seales. He graduated from Flint Northern High School in 2009 in the top 10 of his class. He enjoys many extracurricular activities, including sports (mainly basketball), sleeping and volunteering.  He loves to travel and also enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He has two older sisters, Alexis and Crystal, and is a strong believer in his faith. 

Student Stats

Name: Allen Seales (2013)
Age: 22
Year in School: Senior
Major: Sports Management
Favorite Course: Sports Governance
Dream Job: Youth Sport Director

About the School

CMU logo

Central Michigan University, with a main campus in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and more than 60 locations across the U.S., is nationally recognized for academic excellence in more than 200 programs. Cutting edge research, new facilities, graduate programs and top faculty ensure an education that is one of the best in the state.



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