The First Generation College Student
I am a female college student in her late 20s who comes from a minority background. Considering my socio-economic background, it has always been hard for people from my race to access and actually graduate from college (Engle, 2007). Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to further my education beyond the secondary level, a feat that no one else in my family has been able to achieve.
First generation college students (FGCS) are those students whose parents did not attend college, thus making these students the first ones in their families to access post-secondary education (Engle, 2007). As a FGCS, going to college is one of the proudest moments in my life because I know that I have the opportunity to improve the lives of my family members who never had the chance to attend college. Going to and graduating from college also means that I get to realize my dream of starting my own healthcare-related organization.
According to Engle (2007), FGCS face a lot of challenges in relation to staying enrolled in, and graduating from college, among them being inability to reach the required GPA for graduation. As a result of having good grades, with a GPA of 3. 5, I have joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) so as to increase my chances of getting a scholarship to further advance my studies. Right now, I am an undergraduate student majoring in Science in Health Administration with more concentration on Health Information Systems. With good grades, I am hopeful the NSCS will sponsor me to pursue a master’s degree in Business Administration with a special focus on Health Care Management.
Currently, I am working as a Medical Administrative Assistant so that I can gain experience in the field of health care management but also so that I can get additional money to support myself. After I am done with my studies, however, I would like to manage the information technology department of a facility that deals with health care delivery. By working in such a facility, I will be exposed to all manner of patients and get to learn their problems and discover what kind of help they need.
Having the access to patient records while working in the information technology department will give me information regarding the plight of special groups of people in the society. Since my long-term goal is to set up a non-profit organization that caters for the needs of special groups of people in the society, the information gained during my managerial job will be of utmost importance. The organization will offer assistance to victims of domestic violence, underprivileged women and children, people with mental illnesses, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, my organization will form support networks for parents with children living with autism, and offer tuition assistance and mentorship to students in high schools and colleges.
All these dreams start with me going to and graduating from college. As such, college for me means the opportunity to become successful, uplift the living standards of my family, and be of help to the underprivileged and special people in the society. In addition, I get to become a role model to young girls from minority races who will look at me and realize that one can become successful regardless of their socio-economic background.
Engle, J. (2007). Postsecondary Access and Success for First-Generation College Students. American Academic, 3, 25-48.