COVID-19 Blog

FGLI COVID-19 Stories

COVID-19 has greatly impacted many people around the world, especially first-generation and/or low-income (FGLI) students. With this special edition COVID-19 blog initiative, Rise First hopes to achieve three key objectives:

  1. raise awareness of the challenges FGLI students are experiencing during this unprecedented crisis,
  2. provide a platform for FGLI students to share their stories,
  3. offer support to the best of our ability (through financial assistance and a curated COVID-19 resources list)

Rise First is honored to be able to provide a platform for student authors to opt-in to sharing their heartfelt and inspiring experiences with others so that no one will feel alone during these trying times. The inspiring stories published here are unedited to fully reflect each author’s voice. They are weaved together by common threads of determination, hope, and a sense of community - we truly are all in this together.

The students named in the blog entries below have opted-in to display their bios and have provided headshots for publishing.

Posts from students at Amherst College


COVID-19 Author Image

Student - Amherst College

I got the email from my college at 7:32 PM on the 9th of March while playing Just Dance in my friends’ suite. I froze, reading those short little words on my screen “All students are expected to have left campus by Monday, March 16”. I didn’t know how to react. Was this some sort of fever dream? Was I having a nightmare. I needed to wake up. Why wasn’t I waking up? The entire world seemed to be spinning and I couldn’t think straight.

The reality set in shortly after and my friends around me started frantically discussing what their plans were. One of my friends as an immunocompromised individual living in New York wasn’t sure as to what she would do and was on the phone discussing things with her mom back at home. Another friend with no place to go back home was freaking out and crying as to what she would do if the college didn’t give them room and board. I sat there silently, knowing that I soon would have to call my parents to let them know at once what they wanted me to do.

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