I came upon an article today about a first-generation, low-income Latina college student. She detailed her four years of difficulty at Duke University.
“I remember first semester freshman year and feeling foreign, despite the fact that I, myself, am of this country. I felt like a speckle of dirt on a white surface. I was the only Latina on the bus, in the classroom and in the friend group. And I was sad. I attributed my sadness to not being accustomed to a new environment, to missing my family and my culture and to not knowing exactly what my college experience would be like. Little did I know that it was much deeper than what I originally perceived. And even after all these years at this institution, I am still sad, but definitely not defeated.”
It is a powerful narrative and further reinforces the need to increase support for students once on campus. Duke recently announced the addition of a new position for first-generation and low-income students. Here’s hoping that it actually makes a difference for all students marginalized on that campus.