College of Health and Human Performance

Kaniya Battle

Applied Physiology & Kinesiology '24

Meet Kaniya Battle: A fourth-year first-generation college student from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

On National First-Generation College Day, we celebrate the determination, resilience and accomplishments of those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Join us in celebrating our first-generation students and learn more about their achievements.


In what ways has being a first-generation college student shaped your academic and personal growth during your time in college?

I believe being a first-generation college student instills an ever growing dedication to education that drives me to take advantage of every opportunity I can because I am adamant on being the change in order to make change.

What advice would you give to other first-generation students who are considering or currently attending college?

I learned it isn't about how you get there or what others before you did. It is about being that one standout, a leader, to take the initiative to be different and do more. To get past that threshold of fear and do the unimaginable is what makes the distinct foundation of a first-generation college student and has helped me to muster the courage to embark on this journey into medicine.

Kaniya Battle with UF mascots Alberta and Albert and college classmates and faculty at a college event.

How has your college experience impacted your family and community? Have you inspired others to pursue higher education?

As the generation of new beginnings, it is amazing to see how my actions serve as the precedent for the next. I have two younger sisters who are nearing high school and have already committed to upholding the Gator tradition. Seeing such an impact was uplifting as it shows once we take a chance to raise our own expectations, we raise the dreams and expectations for future generations.

Are there any programs or initiatives at your college that have been especially beneficial to first-generation students, and how have they supported your journey?

The MFOS (Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars) program instills an everlasting sense of pride due to the strong relationships and connections formed while being in this college.This high degree of inclusivity is valuable as a first-generation college student as it provides an early sense of belonging and security while navigating throughout your college career.

What are your future plans and aspirations after college, and how do you see your first-generation background continuing to influence your path?

Take a growth year to gain more clinical experience with direct patient care hours and by shadowing medical professionals. In doing so, I am able to focus solely on increasing my knowledge within my career through hands-on application, while facilitating professional growth that will aid in my development as a competitive PA school candidate. In the future I aspire to enter the medical field as a physician assistant specializing in orthopedic surgery or emergency medicine.

Witnessing someone that looks like you portray a position of status in any field instills a sense of hope that you can too. You can’t be who you can’t see and being this representation is what motivates me.

[Profile added in 2023]

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