Pearl Pham: A Message to First-Generation Students in SCU
To my fellow first-generation students,
First and foremost, congratulations on everything you’ve achieved up until this point in your lives! Navigating your way through your educational journey without the stereotypical guidance from parents is difficult. It builds you to become self-reliant while carrying on unique responsibilities like translating the FAFSA or explaining college applications to your family. These experiences teach you to become diligent workers and are a part of your identity that you should be proud of.
My advice for those considering SCU is to take advantage of the resources provided for first-generation students. Colleges & companies often recognize the position students like us are placed in so they provide programs to support our journey into the work industry. Thankfully for you, SCU has the LEAD Scholars Program! This is a program for first-generation students (students whose parents didn’t graduate from a 4-year college or university) focused on academic success and community engagement. LEAD also offers their own scholarships, microgrants, and fellowships to help with your college expenses. On top of that, take advantage of the financial aid that SCU is highly generous with.
I’ve personally benefited from LEAD by finding a community amongst other students who understand the struggles I faced growing up in an immigrant family. Most of the other students are highly ambitious and set high standards for their academic and career success. This has positively impacted my perspective when entering college as I wanted to create a narrative for myself that would represent my family background and sacrifices while achieving what would make me proud. My advice for you is to search for these specific programs that will equip you with the skills & resources necessary for success because they do exist.