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. …