Wed., Oct. 12
First Generation College Attendees
Only a few generations ago college was reserved for a select few - the brightest academic stars, monied families, and students carrying on the family legacy. The doors to higher learning open a little wider for baby boomers, when loans and government assistance flowed more freely, and young people scrambled to get a leg up on job competition through education.
Fast forward to present day- college seems like a rite of passage to many, but problems still persist. Higher education remains a largely white, middle-class-and-up rite of passage. Minorities, low income, and those whose parents never went to school lag behind in enrollment. There are programs and financial aid available, but this has only resulted in a trickle of new applicants. All the more important, then, are college graduates who beat the odds, who overcame financial hardship and community indifference and became the first person in their families, and on their blocks, to get a degree.
Today, we'll talk with three such people:
William "Mo" Cowan: Chief of Staff for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick;
Rev. Michael Melendez: Director of the Master of Social Work program at Simmons College; and,
Carmen Ortiz: the United States Attorney for Massachusetts.
All three are 2011 ACCESS First One Award winners.