March 2017 Articles

Generations: First in Family

Ashleigh Muratore ’18

I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and we moved to Orlando when I was nine. My parents both started college, but neither finished. My dad works at Disney World, and if you park for the Magic Kingdom and 
take the tram, he’s the one giving a spiel to keep your hands inside.

I went to a public high school with about 3,000 other students. I started taking college classes when I turned 15 and got my associate’s degree a month before I graduated from high school.

When my dad and I came to visit Bryn Mawr in March 2013, the cherry blossoms were all in bloom, and there was a light dusting of snow. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

My dad bought a Bryn Mawr bumper sticker on 
that visit. He said he’d only put it on the car if I got in. One day, I was at my job at Chick-fil-A and he came in with the whole family. When I asked what they were doing there, he showed me the bumper sticker, and I started crying.

At Bryn Mawr, I work as the student manager of UnCommon Grounds. That takes up a lot of my time.

I’m majoring in psychology with a philosophy minor. I see myself going further and doing a Ph.D. in psychology, then maybe teaching at a college. I’m really interested in how cultural factors affect social media and peer experience.

Norma Garcia-Kennedy ’77

Even though they couldn’t go to college, my parents had vibrant intellectual lives, and they instilled in their children a strong work ethic and a desire for higher education. My brother was the first in my immediate family to go to college. So I never really felt like a first-generation college student.

In high school, I was the only girl in the most advanced math class, so I thought it would be inspiring and welcoming to go to a college where I’d never be the only girl in math class again.

At Bryn Mawr, I usually worked about 30 hours a week. You name it, I did it—working for the archaeology department, in the dining hall, babysitting, waitressing. And at the same time, I was very involved in campus life—as Junior Class Song Mistress and co-treasurer of the SGA as a senior.

Bryn Mawr opens up so many opportunities for students. I was a math major who earned an M.B.A. in finance and accounting at the Simon School, University of Rochester. From there, I went on to a career in investment banking and culminated my work life in 1995 as senior vice president of McKesson Drug Company.

I managed to wring out an additional benefit while attending Bryn Mawr. I met my husband in Merion when it was co-ed; he was a student at Haverford. Richard Kennedy and I got married winter break of our senior years; this year, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We have a wonderful son, Ian, who attends Yale, where he is managing editor of The Politic.