By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ana Barros grew up in a Habitat for Humanity house surrounded by vacant lots. Neither parent went to college but she scored 2200 on her SATs, so she expected to fit in at Harvard. However, it wasn’t as she imagined so she decided to”come out” and now leads a First-Generation Student Union.READ MORE: 'You're Not Welcome Here' Flyers Posted On Northeast Philadelphia Kids Dance Studio
Hung Pham, who is graduating from Yale in May, recalls that in his first art history class, the professor asked each student for a favorite Renaissance painter and he hadn’t any. The focus, he said, has always been on deficits; How can I do better? How can I catch up?READ MORE: SEPTA Union President Releases Video Warning Its Members To Prepare For Possible Strike
In the country’s most prestigious colleges, first-gens are speaking up – there’s a Hidden Minority Council at Princeton, and the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership at Yale and Columbia and the colleges are paying attention, designating first-gen administrators; at Georgetown welcome gifts of bedding, and Harvard’s website has a first-gen section.MORE NEWS: Camden High School Football Banned From Postseason Following On-Field Fight
Read more about first-gens and their responses in The New York Times.