Lisandra, a Preble High School senior, takes college credit classes and participates in clubs and college readiness programs like AVID and NEW Scholars. “I am always looking for opportunities that will make my dream of going to nursing school come true,” she shares.
You see, Lisandra and all of our NEW Scholars will be first-generation college students – a fact that poses a unique set of challenges. “Because I am the first to go to college in my family, my parents can’t help me as much as they would like,” Lisandra explains. “It makes things stressful.”
For first-generation college students, understanding what it takes to get to college is crucial for their ability to access it. Most of these students can’t ask parents for help completing FAFSA, applying to colleges, or for homework help, because they simply don’t have the prior knowledge needed to guide their child. That’s where NEW Scholars comes in. Throughout our students’ participation in the program, we build up their information ‘toolkit’ and help them develop positive homework and study habits and reading and writing skills in preparation for college entrance.
Although being a first-generation student has created obstacles for Lisandra, she isn’t giving up. “I am determined to graduate high school and enroll in college with my peers,” she says. “I’m going to show that hard work definitely pays off in the end.”