Being a first-generation college student builds character and grit, Lehigh alumni say.
“I think there are legitimate assets that are inherent to first-generation students. We are resourceful. We are tenacious. We have a legitimate track record of working with challenges,” said John Lim ’19, advisory associate, KPMG.
Lim and seven other Lehigh alumni who were the first in their families to attend college shared personal stories and tips for success with first-gen students and let them know that they have the ability to achieve their dreams.
“It is not where you start, it is where you finish,” said Jennifer Mann ’91, president, JL Mann Consulting. “If you believe in yourself, you are going to finish strong. You are going to meet your goal. Take what you learn at Lehigh and apply it to everything you do. You will come out ahead in many, many ways.”
Held on Nov. 22 in the Clayton University Center at Packer Hall, the third annual alumni networking event was sponsored by the student-run group F1RST (First-Generation Initiative Represented by Students and Teachers) and featured alumni who spanned six decades since graduating from Lehigh. F1RST provides activities, resources, and an inclusive community for working class students, underrepresented minorities, and those who are the first in their families to attend college. Providing access to a Lehigh education and the resources for success is a top initiative of GO: The Campaign for Lehigh, a $1 billion-plus fundraising and engagement initiative.