First-Generation Students Leave Their Marks
First-gen faculty guide first-gen Seniors leaving to college
As graduation approaches, our firstgeneration students prepare to see their hard work and resilience paying off. Firstgeneration students are individuals whose parents did not attend college. Most first-gen students navigate the college application process through perseverance and learning from their counselors what to look for in a school and how to advocate for oneself.
Since their parents have not gone through this process, first-generation students take initiative in planning out their future, aiming to make not only their families proud but themselves as well.
Fortunately, the Magis High School Program and counseling center are wonderful resources for first-gen students. The Magis High School program led by Ms. Maricel Hernandez supports first-gen students through a variety of events, such as weekly college workshops and annual college tours. Ms. Anna Maria Vaccaro, one of SI’s College Counselors, works closely with the Magis Program in preparing first-gen students for college and beyond. She consistently communicates about upcoming scholarships, deadlines, and internship opportunities.
The counseling center is full of amazing counselors who wish to see students succeed; they do their best to prepare students for the application process. Beginning junior year, the college counselors invite admissions representatives and different universities to SI to learn more about what colleges are looking for. This support continues throughout your senior year and beyond. As a first-generation student himself, Yohann Moraes ’23 advised other first-gen students, “between the amazing counseling center, teachers, and even fellow students…take advantage of all the outlets SI has to offer you.”
For our graduating first-gen seniors, Ms. Vacarro conveyed a key message, “From one first-gen to another, you did it. You climbed this mountain. Now you only have 20+ more mountains to climb. You will trip and fall along the way but you scrape off and take pride in those scratches. You rise up because you are first gen and there are so many more great things from you.”
Julianna Alegria '23 is a Vol. 71 Managing Editor