First in the Family is a new mentoring program being introduced to the Elon community. It is for first generation college students, and the program's advisor Becky Olive-Taylor, spoke about the goals and purpose for it.
"It's and interest group that was developed last year for students who are first generation college students at Elon. Elon defines a First Generation college student as a student who does not have either parent with a four-year college degree. " Olive Taylor said.
Olive-Taylor says there are approximately 200 First Generation college students in the class of 2015 and 2016, and it was not until recently that Elon sought out First Generation students. The admissions office decided to track the first generation admits, and the university began to plan for programs for those students
According to US today roughly 30% of incoming freshman in the United States are first generation college students.
Ana Brambila is a first generation college student as well as mentor for first in the family. She spoke about why First in the Family is important to Elon's campus saying, It'll help a lot of the first years that came in really get comfortable with the atmosphere here at Elon, because it's really hard to do especially if you don't have the same support system back home."
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Brambila shared her personal experiences of her first year as well as the difficulties she faced while preparing for college, saying It was really hard. My parents, they couldn't tell me anything as far as how to manage my time, how to deal with adjusting here." Brambila's family mostly lives in Mexico, while she decided to stay in the United States to get an education.
When she came to Elon, Brambila found mentors such as Beck Olive -Taylor and others who helped her transition and find her place at Elon, and told us why attending college was so important to her. She says going to college is a choice she made for her family. "They came here to the United States for me to have a better future and education and for me not to take advantage of that would be pointless."
As a Brambila wants to encourage other First Generations students, and wants them to know "it gets a lot better, it does get better"