First Graduates from Across the Globe


First Graduate is a college access program working with aspiring first-generation university students in San Francisco, California. It works exclusively with students because of the “tremendous need for college access and completion services for students who come from non-college educated families.”

The following story is excerpted from their website:

On August 3, First Graduate hosted our eighth annual Presentations of Learning (POLs), a special event for our students, their families, and members of the community. During the evening event, held at The Bay School, more than 80 of our high school students offered insightful and moving presentations highlighting their educational experiences and goals for the future.

The POLs gave our students the opportunity to reflect on their challenges and accomplishments as they continue their journey on the road to college. The event also provided them with a chance to hone the type of public speaking and presentation skills they will need to exercise in college and beyond.

Here is an example from a student POL:

Paola, The Marin School
“I spent most of my freshman year getting used to high school and adopting to a new culture with a different socio-economic group than I was accustomed to. By the beginning of my sophomore year, I had already gotten somewhat accustomed to the culture and really wanted to learn and grow more by getting to know other cultures and lifestyles. At my school, my English teacher was introducing African literature. During this unit, he asked for volunteers for an event called Teach with Africa. This was the first year when the program was going to take students overseas to San Francisco to host a workshop with Bay Area students. The workshop was going to be about the educational systems in South Africa and in the U.S. I immediately knew I wanted to be part of this event.”

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