First-Generation Student Spotlight: Yolanda Grayson

Yolanda Grayson; first-generation Bowen law student; student profiles Nov 2021

In honor of First-Generation College Student Celebration Month, UA Little Rock is profiling some of its outstanding first-generation students.

Yolanda Grayson, from Marianna, Arkansas, is a first-generation law student at William H. Bowen School of Law.

What degree are you pursuing?

I am pursuing my Juris Doctor (JD)  in hopes of serving my community further.

How did your family react when you told them you wanted to earn a college degree?

Growing up the 10th child of 12, my parents instilled in all of us a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, volunteerism, and the value of a higher education. It was no surprise to my family when I told them I wanted to earn a college degree because they always saw me reading a book and learning was natural for me.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of college so far?

The most rewarding aspect of college so far is having opportunities to serve the community. Whether I am performing a random act of kindness, mentoring youth, reading books to children, providing school supplies, serving at a shelter, or donating blood, I am always delighted to volunteer my time and effort.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I plan to practice law in rural communities to assist the underserved.

Do you have any advice for future first-generation students?

For future first-generation students, I am excited for you! Being first is challenging, but you can do this! You do not have to navigate through college alone. I did not have prior exposure or knowledge of the higher education system. I found support through my professors, peers, student services, academic and financial aid advisors, and even student organizations.

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