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First-Gen Struggles Don’t End After Graduation

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2018-03-15T09:19:33+00:00 November 6, 2017|Highline Voices, News|
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First-Gen Struggles Don’t End After Graduation

  • Justin Dampeer, Highline College

By Justin Dampeer

As the first person in my family to go to college, I feel lucky to work in programs that support first-generation college students (first-gen) with similar experiences and barriers to my own growing up. While I can’t speak for everyone coming from this background, my experiences help provide me with a starting point to connect with almost any student who walks through my office door.

Efforts in Washington state have been implemented to see these students through the college experience and hopefully begin to close the resource gap that exists between their more privileged counterparts.

Supporting college attendance by students who come from low-income households will help meet our state’s needs in developing an educated workforce. By 2021, an estimated 72 percent of available jobs will require at least a postsecondary credential.

While we should continue to support first-gen students, finishing a post-secondary degree to compete in the job market is just one side of their struggles. As someone who finished my bachelor’s degree almost a decade ago, I can tell you that the struggle does not stop after graduation. …

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This article was originally published in the print edition of the Federal Way Mirror on Nov. 3, 2017.

About the Author

Justin Dampeer is the program manager of the Transition Success Center at Highline College. He also works in the community to help students prepare for college through the Seattle Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program and Project Portfolio. He has been involved in student retention programs such as TRiO Student Support Services and Workforce Education.

About Highline Voices

Highline Voices brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other articles in the Highline Voices series that began in 2016. All Highline employees are welcome to contribute to the series. Email Tanya Powers or Kari Coglon Cantey for guidelines.