McKenzie Simpson


What brought you to Tech?
I came to Tech because I wanted to be close to my hometown and I was planning to be a nursing major.  October my Freshman year, I switched my major to Forensic Investigation and fell in love with the program and the school. 

What advice would you give to a fellow first-generation student?
If I could give any advice to a first generation student, I would be not to give up. When I was a freshman, there was plenty of times I wanted to give up. It was the most challenging thing I had ever been through. Even if you don't do your best your first semester, don't give up!  You can do anything if you truly want to achieve that goal. 

What advice do you wish you had known before coming to college?
I wished I would have known that you don't have to have it all figured out. It is okay to take one day at a time.

Why is it important for WVU Tech to celebrate our first-generation students, faculty and staff?
I think it is important to celebrate first generation students because they chose to take a new step in a different direction. Sometimes it is so easy to do things that our parents or a role model has done. Its hard at times to tell yourself that you have to live your own life and do what is best for you. I feel sometimes people look down on first generation students because no one in their family has a college degree. I think it gives them the strength to keep going and it shows people that anyone can come to college and make something of themselves. 

What things can people do to be champions for first-generation students?
People can be champions by treating first generation students the same as any other student. Everyone has had different experiences with life, but I don't want someone to treat me different than anybody else. It doesn't matter where you come from, it is where you are going. 

Anything else that you’d like to share about your experience?
One of the biggest accomplishments I have done in my college career is joining TRIO. I don't know where I would be without their help. TRIO works!