In the Spotlight: The First Generation Student Experience

First-generation college student

During the Fall 2015 semester, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) agreed to sponsor a one-hour version of First Generation an award winning documentary that tells the story of four high school students - an inner city athlete, a small town waitress, a Samoan warrior dancer, and the daughter of migrant field workers-who set out to break the cycle of poverty and be the first in their family to purse a college education. Angelica Jardine, a sophomore at UNLV, participated as a panelist after the screening to share her struggles as a First Generation student. Reflecting on her experience as a panelist Angelica stated, "I was excited, I am a documentary junkie, and I never realized the importance of being a First Generation student." And although she was living through the struggles of a First Generation student, such as lack of resources, she had never really thought about it. It was not until several other students in the audience began to ask her questions about her story that she realized she had a story to tell. According to Angelica, "you start to see the similarities in [individual] stories across the board." Research supports there are disparities for first generation applicants in terms of access to informative resources to succeed in the college application process; students sharing their stories with faculty and other first generation students may be a beginning to addressing disparities.

After completing her bachelor's degree, Angelica hopes to apply to graduate school locally. In addition, she plans to open a nonprofit organization that will assist others within the Valley community.

For additional information visit the First Generation site.