About our Co-Founder Dr. Cruz

Our non-profit organization started off with one mother's vision.

Dr. Carmen Cruz is the Chief Program Officer and Co-Founder of 1st-Gen Scholars. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Washington State University, and both her Masters and Doctor of Education Degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University.

She possesses over ten years of teaching experience in formal and informal P-20 educational settings working with underrepresented students and has developed STEM curriculum/programs for local, regional, national, and global organizations. She serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education and she is a current member and reviewer for the following organizations: American Educational Research Association, the Association of the Study of Higher Education, NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and the University of New Mexico Mentoring Institute.

Her research interests include: diversity/equity/inclusion, Latina/o student access/persistence/retention in higher education, developing mentoring/coaching programs, and P-20 STEM education.

As a first-generation Latina, growing up economically disadvantaged and routinely marginalized in schools, she recognizes underrepresented students need support systems, mentors, and advocates in the pursuit of an education. To all students that were once told pursuing an education was impossible, never believe it, si se puede, adelante.


Dr. Cruz is available to for public speaking engagements and enjoys sharing her personal narrative to inspire 1st-Gen Students to continue the pursuit of an education.

Dr. Cruz is booking now for speaking engagements.







Our Team

We would like to introduce our family to yours, and welcome you into ours.

Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder
Angelo Cruz, Sr.

Latino | Inclusive Leader | Client Relationship Manager and Expert | Mentor and Advocate

Chief Program Officer, Co-Founder
Dr. Carmen Cruz, Ed.D.

1st-Gen | Latina | Mentoring Expert and Advocate | STEM Educational Leader | Program Development Expert

Chief Technology Officer
Angelo Cruz, Jr.

Latino | Senior Software Engineer | Technology Strategist | Mentor and Advocate | Data Analytics Expert

Software Engineer
Amelia Cruz

Computer Science Undergrad | Web Developer and Expert | Mentor and Advocate | Marketing Coordinator