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First Generation College Students

From Overcoming to High-Achieving: A First-Generation STEM Star Tells How

Carol J. Carter | Posted 07.21.2015 | College
Carol J. Carter

Elise Tran has overcome many obstacles to make it to her sophomore year at Colorado School of Mines. Not only was she the first in her family to graduate from high school, she is now the first in her family to attend college, currently studying to become a mechanical engineer.

The Drug War Hurts Latinos, and We Have the Power to Stop It

Mayra Espinoza-Martinez | Posted 07.09.2015 | Latino Voices
Mayra Espinoza-Martinez

The one thing all parents share is the desire to protect their kids. Although the legalization and regulation of all drugs may seem counterintuitive to that desire, repealing prohibition will keep our communities safer. Legalization reduces the profit margins of illicit products and disincentivizes the time, money, and violence necessary to traffic drugs.

The Case of the Lonely Professor (or Why Students Should Reach Out to Their Professors)

Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D | Posted 07.02.2015 | College
Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D

There she is, sitting in her office surrounded by books and maybe a wilting plant. The Lonely Professor. Piles of papers on her desk and no one comes to see her. She has her lonely apple for lunch. She thinks about the students she sees in her classes and wonders what they are doing now.

A Mentor Making a Difference in the Lives of First-Generation College Students

Carol J. Carter | Posted 06.16.2015 | College
Carol J. Carter

While working as a guidance counselor at one of the lowest performing schools in Florida, Travis Pinckney noticed that students weren't energized by school. But he saw how they became invigorated while talking about clothes and shoes they purchased and music they heard or made.

From Prison to College: Here's Why Education Matters

Aspen Institute | Posted 05.28.2015 | Crime
Aspen Institute

Before we all went to college, we went to prison. In that unlikely place, we began our educational journeys. We discussed books while walking the prison yard -- sharpening our minds, and in the process, more deeply understanding ourselves.

A Home Run Out of the Housing Projects: Donique Wray's First Gen Success Story

Carol J. Carter | Posted 05.28.2015 | College
Carol J. Carter

Growing up in the Jacksonville Housing Authority (JHA), Donique Wray had several strikes against her at an early age. First, her mom had run away from home at thirteen to live on the streets and she had a hard time recognizing her own brilliance or that within Donique.

My Challenges as a First-Generation College Student

Jennifer Damouras | Posted 06.19.2015 | College
Jennifer Damouras

Four years ago, I would have told you it was awful being the first in my family to attend college because I felt more lost than my peers in this college process. Now, I can say being the first to attend college has been a great experience for me.

Vocabulary Words New College Students Need to Gain a Competitive Edge

Christina Berchini | Posted 05.27.2015 | College
Christina Berchini

First-genners are at an inherent disadvantage because, unlike their non-first-gen counterparts, first-genners know less about how to navigate the system to gain a competitive edge.

My Mistake as an Immigrant Student Was Viewing My Difference as a Drawback

The University of Central Florida Forum | Posted 05.12.2015 | College
The University of Central Florida Forum

My biggest mistake was seeing my difference as an immigrant and first-generation student as a drawback. I was limiting myself from many opportunities by thinking this way. Instead, I should have looked at this as an admirable quality because it defines who I am today.

'Free' Does Not Mean 'Valuable': Why Free Community College Needs Strings Attached

Carol J. Carter | Posted 03.29.2015 | College
Carol J. Carter

We applaud President Barack Obama's many steps toward educational and career access for all Americans. We believe that for the free community college initiative to deliver needed results, we need clarity on the problems facing community colleges, strong accountability measures, and solutions to drive student success, not simply access.

A Better Way to Climb the Ladder to College Success

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 02.21.2015 | Education
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

It's time to fix the broken rungs of the ladder and eliminate the barriers to higher education that, in themselves, have become a root cause of social injustice. It's time to recognize what's happening in our country is of our own making.

CFES Conference Aims to Share Best Practices for Guiding Low-Income Students Toward College

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 01.04.2015 | College
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

"I never thought that I would actually make something of myself," declared Ryan McLennon, a freshman at State University of New York at Plattsburgh an...

A Commitment to Making College Accessible to First-Generation College Students

Anne E. Huot | Posted 12.31.2014 | College
Anne E. Huot

As a first-generation college student myself, I can personally attest to the life-changing impact college has had for me, and for many people I have had the privilege to know because of my choice to attend college and further continue my studies.

First Generation College Students: The Optimist

RealClearEducation | Posted 10.24.2014 | College

Keresoma, or “Soma” Leio comes from a tightly knit Samoan family. Through high school, he lived in a small three-bedroom home in south Los Angeles...

Determination Defined: The Carmen Rodriguez Story

Ola Ojewumi | Posted 09.11.2014 | Impact
Ola Ojewumi

The lesson to learn from the "Carmen Rodriguez Story" is that through hard work and dedication you can achieve your personal goals. Though life may hand you obstacles, you can turn them into opportunities.

Choosing Your Professors and Keeping Those Ties

Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D | Posted 09.03.2014 | College
Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D

Among the most important people who will influence your college life and, even life after, will be your professors. And they will help you increase your grades if you know how to engage them.

College Leaders Commit to Help One Million Low Income Students Attain College Degrees

Matthew Lynch, Ed.D. | Posted 08.30.2014 | College
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

College leaders from across the country gathered at the College For Every Student (CFES) Center in Essex, NY on June 24-25 to develop strategies to he...

Teen Named School's First African-American Valedictorian

The Huffington Post | Jessica Dickerson | Posted 06.19.2014 | Black Voices

It's one thing to read about black history in high school, it's a whole other thing to become black history at your very own high school, and that's j...

When Your HS Graduates Choose Community College

Isa Adney | Posted 08.19.2014 | College
Isa Adney

It scares me how much the negative stereotypes of community colleges have crept into the national psyche. Because they creep into community college students' psyches as well and make them feel unworthy of success before they've even begun.

Denver Teen Overcomes Hardship, Turns Suspension Into Scholarship

The Huffington Post | Ryan Grenoble | Posted 06.17.2014 | Teen

Aracely Navarro knows a thing or two about hardships. She also knows about overcoming them. The recent Denver North High School valedictorian is no...

First-Generation Student Graduates With Honors and Shares Her College Experience

Diane Propsner | Posted 08.09.2014 | College
Diane Propsner

College graduation was especially sweet for Jennifer Eadie. A first-generation student, she's the first woman in her family to graduate from college.

It Is Not Just About Finding a Job, It Is About Finding a Fit

Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D | Posted 07.06.2014 | College
Marcia Y. Cantarella, Ph.D

They can learn some of the workplace social and negotiating skills from these encounters which are relatively low-risk. But they can also learn explicitly by asking questions and for guidance. Just learning how to ask questions is a workplace skill.

WATCH: Film Explores Difficult Road To College For 'First Generation' Students

VOXXI | John Benson | Posted 04.01.2014 | Latino Voices

Filmmaker Adam Fenderson’s new documentary “First Generation” explores the journey of four different high school students hoping to become the f...

What's a GPA? When College Campus Is a Strange Land

Wray Herbert | Posted 03.17.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

How can schools instill in disadvantaged men and women the belief that they deserve to be college students -- that people "like them" can not only manage but thrive in the middle-class culture of higher education?

How To Tear Down Barriers For First-Generation Students

stateline | Adrienne Lu | Posted 10.31.2013 | College

This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline, where it was originally published. As a senior at Taft High School in Lincoln City, Oregon, last year...