Celebrating first-generation students

Madalyn Murry
Originally published on Show Me Mizzou, 11/7/2022

Wensdai Brooks, third-year law student in the School of Law

Hometown: Santa Cruz, California

What is the best part of being a student at Mizzou?

The Mizzou community is the best. There’s nothing better than the feeling you have after you leave the library and you’ve found the answer you and your classmates just sat for hours trying to find; you feel so fulfilled. Having those types of experiences and being able to share them with my mom, who didn’t have them, has been really special.

How has being a first-generation college student impacted your life?

It has opened doors for me that I don’t think would have been opened otherwise. There’s a lot that you can do without a college degree, but I also think that there are places in life that you can’t go without one — those were always places that I wanted to go.

I now have the ability to make a life for myself that’s better than the one I grew up in. I have a daughter now, and being that role model for her and showing her that this is the kind of life that we can have now — all because of education — is great.

What are your post-graduation goals?

I want to be an appellate advocate. I want to be the person who stands up in court and says, “This isn’t the way that the law works. This isn’t equitable.” I want to be that person.

Wensdai Brooks, Wyatt Eaton and Meadow Mobley.
Wyatt Eaton, professional student in the College of Veterinary Medicine

Hometown: Doniphan, Missouri

What made you choose Mizzou?

I chose Mizzou for the veterinary school. I loved the idea of being in class for two years then in clinics for two years. I am a hands-on person; I learn best from seeing and doing with what’s in front of me. Mizzou offered that, and it is only four-and-a-half hours from home.

What has been your family’s response to you pursuing your degree?

My family members have always been my biggest fans and supporters. They wanted me to have the experience they did not get to have, and they pushed me to pursue my goals. Because of that, I was able to take off and have experiences that other people may never get.

What is your goal post-graduation?

I want to become a mixed animal practitioner in rural and suburban Missouri at my hometown clinic — serving the people of southeast Missouri the best I can.

Meadow Mobley, junior in the College of Education and Human Development

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

What made you decide to go to college?

I always knew I wanted to pursue my education and go further. My parents didn’t have that opportunity, and they encouraged me to further my education. I knew Mizzou had a great education program, and when visiting Mizzou, I felt right at home and knew it’s where I belonged.

How has Mizzou helped you navigate your college experience?

My advisors have been helpful, and the activities I’ve been involved in have also helped me navigate college. I’ve met so many different people that I never would have been exposed to in my hometown.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I want to be a teacher. I also want to come back to school and get my master’s so I can be a school counselor.