Proud to be a first-generation college student on this special day

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Today we are celebrating First-Generation College Student Day across the United States, and I'm even brave enough to show you what I looked like when I was a graduate student here at the U!

EWK

Why? Because I'm proud of the University of Minnesota's role in attracting first-generation students.

While I was the first in my family to be able to attend college, I was certainly not the first to be keenly interested in learning. From a young age, I remember my parents always reading and rarely watching TV. They instilled in me a love of books and the knowledge and entertainment they contained. They also worked hard and sacrificed so that I, their only child, could go to college and emerge with only modest debt. That education defined me and set me on a path to success.

At the University of Minnesota we provide that same path to success to many first-generation students. This semester, more than 26 percent of our Twin Cities campus students and 29 percent across our entire five-campus system are first-generation college students.

This is our role as a land-grant university. This is our responsibility: to help lift young people and their families to success, lives of prosperity, lifelong learning, and leadership in their communities. And this is why we work hard every day to keep the University of Minnesota affordable and accessible.

Read more stories about our first-generation students. And you can add your own story about how, as a first-generation college student, your degree transformed your life.