Trailblazer Toll

Submitted By:
Hee-Jin Yim, Dwight Global Online School, New York

First Gen: A Memoir by Alejandra Campoverdi
Hatchett Book Group, September 12, 2023

A childhood spent on welfare, a White House aide to President Barack Obama, a gang member’s girlfriend, and a candidate for the United States Congress: Campoverdi introduces readers to a complex cast of characters during this intimate journey about what it means to be a “First and Only.” Oftentimes, when we hear of “first generation” or the “only” person in the family to attend university, we affirm and applaud the social mobility engine in this country. However, in her personal memoir, Campoverdi discusses the “Trailblazer Toll” openly, naming and acknowledging that there are scars in being the “First and Only.” Rather than continuing the narrative of Disneylandesque rags to riches, Campoverdi’s truth-telling will offer the possibility of healing from its wounds. In the independent school and college admissions spaces, there are outstanding “First and Only” students whom we admit and launch to universities. Campoverdi’s memoir will give educators hoping to provide better support and understanding a window into the unique yet shared challenges of “First and Onlys.”

Student Wellness & Safety
Psychology & Human Development