Celebrate the Success of Two First-gen Students on Veterans Day

It’s BU’s First-gen College Celebration Week and Veterans Day–here we celebrate two of our Terrier F1RSTS who are also veterans.  We thank ALL of our military-affiliated students, whether they are veterans, active duty, ROTC, or in the Reserves!

Name: Nick Wainwright

Hometown: Pembroke, Massachusetts

Undergrad Institution: Virginia Military Institute

Current Degree Program: J.D.

Branch and a Brief Overview of your Military Career so far:

I was commissioned into the U.S. Army Reserve in 2020 as a military intelligence officer out of the Virginia Military Institute ROTC program. I joined a unit based in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, that supports the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other partners based in the National Capital Region. At the height of COVID-19, I assisted in the reintegration of the unit from a virtual environment to ensure the continuation of in-person support for the JCS. In May 2021, I attended the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. During the summer of 2022, I was activated to support a crisis management cell in the Pentagon, prior to moving back to Boston to attend the BU School of Law.

What does it mean to you to be a first-gen military-affiliated student at BU?

Being a first-gen military-affiliated student means that I got lucky. It means that I benefited from the opportunities that previous generations of my family have strived to create, and that as the benefactor of their efforts and other incredible opportunities that I was fortunate to find, I have a duty to help guide the way for other service members and veterans to access those same opportunities. Veterans are under-represented in the legal profession and across graduate education programs, and in transitioning from the service often face additional challenges in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and other mental health issues. One of the most important lessons you learn in the military is to lean on your team, and being a first-gen military-affiliated student, it often feels like you have lost your team. In transitioning to a civilian world that feels jarringly indifferent to service members, it is important that we seek each other out and that we continue to lean on each other, whether it be in a moment of crisis or in an effort to access opportunities you never could have imagined for yourself. Above all, being a first-gen military-affiliated student means that we look out for each other.


Christopher Sorbello profile picture

Name: Christopher Sorbello

Hometown: Woodstown, NJ

Undergrad Institution: Pennsylvania State University – State College

Current Degree Program: MBA + MS Digital Technology

Branch and a Brief Overview of your Military Career so far: 

  • US Navy Officer (Lieutenant)
  • Started career on USS BUNKER HILL in San Diego, CA
  • The second ship was USS CARNEY in Rota, Spain
  • My third role was an exchange officer with the Australian Navy living in Sydney, New South Wales for the last three years prior to joining BU this past August.

What does it mean to you to be a first-gen military-affiliated student at BU? 

  • Having the opportunity to be able to attend BU and represent both of these groups is something that the younger version of myself, I believe, would be really proud of. To be able to keep working towards improving myself has been my drive so far in making this all possible. Having only recently changed over from Active duty to a Reserve status I still feel that I represent my brothers and sisters in the military and this drives me to continue to work hard each day.