Today, on May 30, 2014 first generation students and allies are helping to raise awareness of what it’s like being a first generation college student in the first ever #ProofPointDay. The idea for the campaign came from Chastity Lord, the current CEO of Achievement First Public Charter Schools in New York City. She wanted to have a day for “communities across our country where college graduation is not an expectation are surrounded by thousands of visible and vocal #proofpoint first generation students and allies – creating a new narrative about what is possible.”
FLOC is proud to support this endeavor as an ally to our own first generation college students in the Postsecondary Scholars Program and our future first generation college students in our Middle School and High School Scholars Programs. To learn more about #ProofPointDay you can visit the campaign website and to learn how you can get involved with FLOC’s Scholars, please visit our volunteer page.
We asked some of our students what being a first generation college student means to them, check out some of their responses below:
Kelsey – University of Maryland College Park
Being a first generation college student means beating the odds and achieving your dreams. It means making my mother proud; setting an example for my younger sister; and being a role model to other Latinos and undeserved minority that achieving a higher education is possible. It’s an experience that has impacted my life in the best possible way, and it would have not been possible without the help of FLOC!
Jennifer – Montgomery College
Being a first generation college student to me means ending the cycle of poverty that my family has been in. I am setting the example for the future generations to teach them that being successful is the best thing there is and that education is the key to success. Going back to that poverty is not the answer and I will show them that. That’s what being a first generation college student means to me.
Erica – Pace University
To be a first generation college student means that I can carry out the knowledge that I have gained from so many people. It’s an honor to say that I made it to college and will graduate. It will give me opportunities that I could never imagine and for that I am grateful.
Adam – Salisbury University
As a first generation college student I learned the importance of education. I see opportunities that I have in the future for me and help people as they help me throughout my struggle times. By going to college I can succeed as an individual and become a better student.
Alayna – Penn State University
It means to me, that there is more pressure. Since you’re the first you have to set an example for yourself and your family, to try to overcome adversity.
Being a first generation college student means a lot to me, because I am opening the door for my young siblings and showing that that if I can do it they can too. Also for them to see how an education can change someone’s life. Being a first generation student allows me to make my family be proud of me for the great things I have achieved. It has allowed me to go out their help inspire other kids and show them the importance of an education.
Jasmine– Washington Adventist University
People didn’t think I was going to attend college, because I was so in love with dance. They thought I just grow up to be a dancer and nothing else. Being a 1st generation student, allows me to show people that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I am glad that I am a college student; that I am a 1st generation student.
Nicholas – Sewanee: The University of the South
For me, it means that my parents aren’t able to help me in some aspects of my college life. But it’s also a source of motivation from my parents as they want me to take advantage of opportunities they never had.
(Kate Fleischer is the Development Assistant at FLOC).