First Generation Students And Validation Essay

First Generation Students And Validation Essay

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First Generation Students and Validation
I found the first article by Ashley A. Smith to be extremely interesting. I am the oldest of 6 children and I feel like the level of exposure to higher education institutions which I had growing up compared with my youngest sibling has greatly influenced our educational journey. As I mentioned previously I was the oldest of 6 children born to parents who immigrated from Mexico; they had very minimal education. Additionally, I grew up in a rural predominately immigrant community; the majority of people I grew up surrounded by had similarly limited educational backgrounds to that of my parents. Therefore, not surprisingly my exposure to higher education institutions was very limited; I feel that the lack of exposure and familiarity played a big role in my failure to pursue higher education after graduation. It was something I had never considered and hadn’t really heard much about growing up. However, that has not been the case for my youngest sibling, Rafael.
By the time Rafael was in middle school my parents had moved to an area with a better school system than the one I had grown up attending. My brother was attending school with students whose parents were doctors, teacher, lawyers, and other educated professionals. Additionally, during that time my sisters and I decided to enroll at our local community college. Reflecting on our circuitous educational journey my sisters and I decided to focus attention on Rafael and his academics; something that unfortunately my parents hadn’t been able to do while we were growing up. By the time he was set to go to high school (he was accepted to a high school for gifted children), my two sisters and I had managed to transfer out of our community coll...


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...my educational journey. I plan to apply to graduate school in pursuit of a PhD in social psychology and it’s in large part to the professors who have taken the time to mentor me and guide me during my educational journey. It saddens me to know that maybe if my sister had attended a place with faculty members that cared for all their students; she might also be pursuing a higher degree. The two articles just really highlight the importance which are outside the students control play in the educational path which they pursue. At the same time there’s reason to be hopeful because these articles bring to light ways in which the higher education experience of underserved minority students may be improved by providing more exposure to higher education institutions and making faculty aware of the importance of creating a sense of validation among these student populations.

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