First generation college freshmen get help from schools to break barriers

Monday, August 28, 2023
WSBT 22 News

Saint Mary's College in South Bend is boosting support for first-generation students. On official move in day at Saint Mary's College, freshman Eliana Aquino was already unpacked.

That is because she is a first-generation college student and a Kessler Scholar.

"I didn’t know what to expect and I was really scared and nervous. I had a lot of anxiety coming in. I had no idea what to expect," says Aquino who is from Whiting, Indiana. Aquino is one of 19 other Kessler Scholars at Saint Mary's this year. Kessler Scholars got to move in a week early to help them feel more comfortable and connected. The program offers a four-year scholarship to first-gen students and wrap around resources, mentoring and support. It is just one way Saint Mary's College is trying to recruit, retain and lift up first-generation college students.

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