NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — November 8th marks the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor students who will be the first members of their families to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. The day falls on the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. It is sponsored by two organizations: The Center for First Generation Student Success is a national research and advocacy organization. The Council for Opportunity in Education is a national advocacy organization that expands higher education opportunity for historically under-served students.
For decades, Maine Seacoast Mission has demonstrated support for students transitioning to and through college. Each year, we work with, learn from, and celebrate many Washington County and Eastern Hancock County first-gen students through our Mission Scholarship program and – beginning this year – our Davis Maine Scholarship program.
The Center for First Generation Student Success research on first-gen college students shows that nationally, in their first year of college, while 65 percent of first-gen students engage financial aid services, when it come to accessing other vital support services:
14% access health services
55% access academic advising
30% access additional academic support services such as tutoring
16% access career services
This data underscores the importance of the mentoring we provide, beginning early with EdGE, Journey, and island education initiatives, through college and career initiatives with our high school and college students. Helping students find their voices, advocate for themselves, and access opportunities and resources is vital for their college success and hopeful futures.
Congratulations, Mission first-gen students and families! We see you, believe in you, and are with you this day and all days!