Categories: Podcast Update

First Generation Programming Services

Welcome back, First Gens! We are back this week with the truly inspiring story of Claudia Guevara-Olivier, whose dedication to empowering first-generation college students shines brightly. Claudia, currently the Alumni Director for America Needs You (ANY), shares with us the story of her journey, her resilience, and the transformative power of community.

Claudia Guevara-Olivier

Claudia America Needs You The First Gen Madrina

Claudia is a fellow first gen, and the daughter of Colombian immigrants. Growing up as the youngest of three children and the only daughter, she witnessed her parents’ sacrifices firsthand as they worked tirelessly in minimum-wage jobs to provide for the family. Her father’s words, “estudia mucho” (study hard), became a guiding mantra for Claudia, propelling her towards a path of educational attainment and service.

Tragically, Claudia lost both parents at a young age. In the face of this loss, she leaned on the guidance of her counselors, highlighting the critical role that mentors and support systems play in the lives of students. Fortunately, her journey through college led her to discover her passion for student leadership and advocacy. She now spearheads ANY’s programming, providing transformative mentorship and career development opportunities for other first-generation college students.

America Needs You

ANY’s mission lies in nurturing the potential of first-gen college students, while offering them intensive career support and mentorship for two years. They fight for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students. Ultimately, ANY supports graduation, but they also pave the way for post-graduation success. In her work, Claudia emphasizes the importance of programs like ANY and Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), which provide vital support for students navigating the challenges of higher education.

In this episode, she also stressed the significance of mental health support for student success. She advocates for creating spaces where students feel a sense of belonging and community. During our Social Work with Sara segment, Sara asked what Claudia does to take care of herself and avoid burnout. She shares her commitment to self-reflection and seeking support from trusted individuals. Overall, she recognizes the therapeutic value of community and encourages others to embrace vulnerability, ask for help, and pay it forward.

In conclusion, Claudia’s story serves as a beacon of hope for first-generation college students reminding us that with the right support and determination, anything is possible. Her advice to others is to plant seeds of empowerment and cultivate communities where every student can thrive. If you want to learn more about ANY, please visit

The First Gen Madrina

The First Gen Madrina services page

If you are a University, College, Company or Organization, The First Gen Madrina offers workshops on a variety of topics (such as imposter syndrome, time management, managing burnout, building a self-care plan, etc..), custom built mentorship programs as well as customized services tailored to the needs of the client.

If you are a first-gen individual, join Sara, The First Gen Madrina, for individual coaching and/or group coaching. For first gens, the journey can often feel lonely but that does not mean that you are alone! Check out the Our Services tab on our website for more information!

Please send an email to Sara at for more information!

Remember to rate, review, and subscribe to The First Gen Madrina Podcast to stay connected. Also, follow on instagram and LinkedIn @thefirstgenmadrina and Sara Diaz, LCSW. Sara acknowledges that the term first gen can be fluid, so The First Gen Madrina is committed to supporting all first gens! This isn’t just about breaking barriers—it’s about providing unwavering support that propels individuals to embrace life’s challenges and triumphs.

 Sara is your go to Madrina for all things first gen!

¡Hasta pronto!

Sara, The First Gen Madrina