Cornell's first-gen students 'Rise Up' - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Cornell's first-gen students 'Rise Up'

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Being among the first in your family to earn a four-year college degree takes determination and initiative. At Cornell College, first-generation students are now supported by Rise Up, a program created to ensure their success. 


"My parents work so hard to have me here at Cornell,” Cornell junior Jose De La Torre said. “They work day and night to assure I am getting the education I need to be successful.”

With the combination of his own drive and hard work and the guidance he receives from Rise Up, De La Torre is building the skills he will need to become an effective community leader. He is serving on Student Senate, participating in a mentoring program with the local middle school, and exploring graduate and law school options.


When he visited Cornell, De La Torre liked the small campus and the professors he met, but he had concerns about the challenges of the academic rigor and fitting in with other students. To help first-gen college students like De La Torre, Cornell developed Rise Up in fall 2014 with a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. In addition to professional staff, students are advised by faculty, such as Psychology Professor Suzette Astley, who are themselves first-generation college graduates.


Read more about students benefiting from Rise Up. 

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