The Trailblazers of SNU
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The Trailblazers of SNU

In life, when we embark on a new adventure, we look to the people around us who have had the experience to give us advice. For some, college is this new adventure, yet not everyone comes from a household whose parents graduated from a four-year college. For one reason or another, you may be a first-generation college student and may need someone to mentor you through the many struggles of college life.

LIFE, McNair, Center for Student Success and the Office of Academic Affairs; these are some of the programs on campus that work to help first-generation students at SNU. On Wednesday November 1st, these programs sponsored an event to honor first-generation Students. The event was put on to participate in the first annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, 2017.

Students were not the only ones invited to this first-generation college student exclusive event, but staff and factuality as well. This event gave students the chance to meet others who have gone down the path they are walking now as well as meeting other students whose parents may not been able to give them a pre-understanding of college life.   

With staff and facility, a student would get the sense that being a first-generation student does not keep you from succeeding in college or in one’s future career. The presence of LIFE, McNair, Center for Student Success and the Office of Academic Affairs at this event shows the students that there are programs on campus that help students who are trying to navigate college without the knowledge from their parents of the nuances of college.

Abba Flores, a sophomore ministry and theology major, who attended this event as a first-generation student, said, “I did not grow up with my parents telling me, ‘When you go to college, expect this, or expect that,’ but SNU has been very helpful in showing me what to expect or how certain things will work in college.”

The nuances of college, with things like picking classes, managing your time and knowing what is going on with finances are some of the struggles a first-generation student could face. SNU’s programs like LIFE, McNair, Center for Student Success and the Office of Academic Affairs help students in all of these areas and more.

Stacey Clowers, the Advising Specialist for LIFE, who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s in business administration, was also in attendance. Clowers, when talking about getting hired by LIFE, said, “I am able to work with students who are just like me, which I love. I feel like it’s God’s calling on my life, and it helps me that I am able to relate to the students.”

The experience of the first-generation student is not one of having no help, but that their support and help may come from places other than just their parents. That support can come from staff, faculty and peers. First-generation students are the trailblazers for those who will come after them.

About The Author

Caleb Bechtold, Business and Social Media Manager

Caleb Bechtold, Echo business manager. Caleb Bechtold is a Junior Theology and Ministry major from Dallas, Texas. SNU has become his home, and is excited to be working for the Echo. In his free time, he enjoys reading, volleyball, and anytime that is spent with good friends. Caleb plans to move to Kansas City, after graduation, to work on his master’s degree, and continue in God’s will.

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