My #UCFirstGen Story: Karrington Rainey, A&S ‘23

Karrington Rainey is a student in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts and Sciences, studying sociology. Karrington is a pioneer in her family as a first-generation college student.

What is your boldest vision for your future?

To attend medical school. After medical school, I want to create legislation and policy to have quality healthcare for everyone regardless of their economic status. I want to build a better community around me and give back to the youth. I delivered a speech my senior year of high school to bring attention to mental illness. I am also the president of Health for the Homeless. We create innovative initiatives to promote healthcare equality. All in all, my passion is bettering the healthcare system.

Describe a unique experience you’ve had at UC.

When I first came to the University of Cincinnati, I wanted to give back to my community since so many people have put their time and efforts into me. I wanted to pay it forward. I joined an organization called Bearcat Buddies. We are mentors/tutors to students in Cincinnati Public Schools. I realized how impactful I was to an elementary student. I am a role model, and I make education “cool.” I finally found my purpose. Just like so many donors and advisors invested into me and this program, I wanted to invest that same energy into a younger child and keep the motivation and ambitiousness alive through our youth. 

How has the Gen-1/1MPACT House made an impact on your life?

When I first entered the Gen-1 House, I knew I was stepping into a community. I knew I had the support of my advisors and my peers. Since I am a first-generation college student, I felt like I was stepping into the unknown. However, I had my mentors and my advisor in the Gen-1 House. I developed meaningful relationships that will continue to help me on my college journey. My networking group has increased since being a part of the Gen-1 program, which I am forever grateful for. 

What does it mean to you that you will be the first person in your family to graduate from college?

It is an honor and a privilege to be the first person in my family to go to college. I feel like I'm on the trajectory to success. I pushed myself beyond what I could imagine. I am so grateful to get the opportunity to continue my education and provide a better life for my family. 

First-Generation Celebration Day

First-Generation Celebration Day was Nov. 8, 2020, and UC is celebrating by highlighting our student trailblazers and examining the transformational impact of graduating with a University of Cincinnati degree. Follow #UCFirstGen and #CelebrateFirstGen on social media and consider supporting Gen-1 students like Karrington.