It’s a sunny Wednesday morning in San Francisco, and 7th grader Kevin Ordonez has just taken his first ever step onto a college campus. Kevin isn’t sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but says his favorite class right now is science. Throughout the day Kevin will hear from current college students majoring in physiology, cell and molecular biology, and microbiology. He will take a tour around the university’s science buildings. This college visit to San Francisco State University is Kevin’s first glimpse into what the future may hold for him as a first generation college student.
First Graduate partnered with AACE and James Denman Middle School to provide this field trip opportunity to our students. Collaborating on field trips and events is just one aspect of a strong partnership between First Graduate and James Denman, a partnership that we hope will help transform the college-going culture at Denman and inspire students to start planning early for their futures.
After a tour of the SF State campus, including a few minutes to play games in the campus arcade, Kevin and the other 7th graders participate in a panel discussion hosted by seven passionate college students who are part of a group called Hermanos Unidos. The young men and women of Hermanos Unidos tell the stories of their personal paths to college, including the challenges many of them had faced as first generation college students. First Graduate kids ask questions about college life, from intramural soccer to majoring in ethnic studies.
One SF State student ends the field trip with a powerful message: “Explore your options, find something you’re passionate about, and stick with it. If you love soccer, work hard at it. If you love to draw, keep drawing. Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing. Do you. That’s how I got to SF State.”
Special thanks to AACE for making this field trip possible.