First Graduate in FORBES!

Be sure to check out this featured article in FORBES about First Graduate!

Emily with her family

“As a first-generation college student, I know firsthand the power that a college education has to change lives, not just for graduates, but for their families too. In many ways, when I earned my degree from the University of California, Irvine last week, my parents graduated with me. I owe my diploma to their unconditional support, and to the courage they had to move to this country to provide a better life for our family.”

“Being a first-generation college student was exhilarating and intimidating, especially as my parents’ English is very limited. It meant picking up responsibilities, like translating for my parents in the ER, explaining mortgage documents and other financial matters to them, and becoming independent as soon as I could.”

“When it came to applying to college, my parents trusted that I could make the best decision for myself. But the application process was overwhelming. Luckily, I had the help of First Graduate, a non-profit organization in San Francisco that helps first-generation students prepare for college beginning in middle school. At First Graduate, I learned how to navigate the process of applying for both college and financial aid. I learned how to fill out FAFSA form and how to recognize the differences between kinds of subsidized federal loans. Learning about all the different loans and grants is almost like taking another class.”

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