Augustana College, Rock Island, hosted a celebration for its first generation students Monday afternoon.
The college was one of several across the country to observe National First-Generation College Student Day. Augustana has about 450 first-generation students who make up nearly 20% of the student population.
The students got around $6,500 in donations from members of the community who knew about the occasion. The donations will help pay for the students’ classes and textbook expenses.
We spoke with two first-generation students who said they are proud to be the first in their families to go to college.
“I’m obviously the first one in my family to go to college, and I did it for a better future,” said Bridget Adamec, a sophomore business major. “Hopefully (I’m) starting a cycle for other family members, inspiring other family members that are interested and maybe weren’t sure if they wanted to go into it or not.”
“Personally, it makes me feel really good to be a first-gen student, just because I’m pursuing my dreams,” said Luke Vega, a sophomore biology major. “I’m reaching for the stars and taking my parents’ advice to keep going, and, (it) makes me proud.”