Getting a higher education degree is more important than ever to open up career opportunities for our generation and help us gain financial security, but getting into, affording, and completing college is difficult. For so many students, education is a family matter, as our families help influence and support our ability to go to school. Young adults increasingly play a central role in the family unit, helping to support their parents and family members, as well as caring for their own children, making their own education path a real family issue. And for many first-generation students, the challenges are even greater as they navigate the system themselves without institutional knowledge from their family members. Data shows that of the 7.3 million full-time undergraduates, 20 percent of students are the first in their families to go to college. But despite the challenges, so many young people are obtaining their degrees and building more financially secure futures for themselves and their families.
Below, you’ll find the stories of young adults who have overcome challenges in pursuing higher education, and who want to share how their families have played a role in their journey. The stories also show students’ strong commitment to supporting other students – creating another community and kind of family. Student-to-student guidance is a powerful way to understand and tackle the struggles young adults face in regards to higher education. By sharing stories our and guidance, we can foster a college-going culture for generations to come within our institutions and most importantly, within our households and communities.
Check out the graphic stories below (also being featured on social media), and see Young Invincibles’ Millennial Voices blog where students will be sharing their journeys to higher education and the role their families played.
Check out Jesus’ blog where he shares the role his family played as he pursued higher education being a first-generation college student and Mexican immigrant in a foreign education system. He also shares some key advice for those who are embarking on their very own academic journeys.
Even though Vanesa lived in the same household as a fellow blogger (and brother) Jesus, her approach and journey to her higher education as Latina was different. Read about her journey and advice she gives other students.
Gustavo shares his story as a DACA student in California and how his family helped him along the process. From struggling to seek financial resources to pay for college to experiencing a loss, his journey was driven by his purpose and what has led him to achieve academic success against all odds.
Originally from the Northern Mariana Islands, Thomas shares his journey to higher education and the support he received from not only his family, but his island. From realizing his potential and seeking resources to help him get to his dream school, Thomas paves way for future islanders by providing guidance for their own journeys.