Skip to content Skip to navigation

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton

MEET CHRIS

"When you’re a first-gen student, you kind of buy into that idea of the American Dream in the sense that if I do all these things, there will be no more problems—like, I will have made it and it’s a permanent thing—and I think, from my experiences so far, I’ve learned that it’s very fragile."

For a lot of us, we are not working just to support ourselves; we’re working to help support our families.

“Very early on in freshman year, we were going out to dinner on University [Ave.] a lot, and at one point I just remember saying, ‘Look, guys, I have spent more on dinner in this week than I plan to spend this month. I can’t afford to do this.’

“For a lot of us, we are not working just to support ourselves; we’re working to help support our families.

“The first time I arrived on campus, everyone else already seemed to know what everything meant. There’s this feeling of moving into a dorm where everyone knew the things that you were supposed to bring, knew all the gadgets and carry-ons to make life convenient, and I didn’t have any of those things.

“When you’re a first-gen student, you kind of buy into that idea of the American Dream in the sense that if I do all these things, there will be no more problems—like, I will have made it and it’s a permanent thing—and I think, from my experiences so far, I’ve learned that it’s very fragile.

“I had the opportunity to work on establishing Mind Over Money, which is the university’s financial literacy program. And in doing so, in taking something that was innovative, that was focused on the aspects of our identity, we were able to create something that helps all students. It turns out that a lot of students had questions around financial responsibility.”

Chris Middleton, ’16


STORY AND PHOTO COURTESY OF STANFORD MAGAZINE