If you haven’t seen First Generation, do so. I recently had the opportunity to view a screening of this award winning documentary at New York University (firstgeneration.com). The film follows the admissions path of four California students with the dream to be the first in the family to go to college. Despite the initiatives of these driven young adults and their ultimate success, the final outcomes are compromised by an overall lack of information and solid advisement during the process. The highest achieving student- the recipient of several academic awards, is left to forego her dream of a four year, traditional school due to cost considerations for part time matriculation at her local community college. A poignant message from the film is the painful reality of missed opportunity. Despite the fact that many students across the nation do benefit from up to 24 hours a day of college advisement via family, guidance offices and more, these kids did not and their lack of awareness about tuition discounts, fee waivers and so much more left them with substantial opportunity costs. We must step up as a profession, as a community, as a nation. We need to mentor as much as possible. We have the information; it is our responsibility to look beyond our office doors and reach further.

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