Following Up: First To Go To College

Friday, August 20, 2010

A call-in for those who were the first in their family to go to college.

It's not just Friday, it's Follow-Up Friday. Earlier this week, a discussion started about a significant number of Hispanic people not going to college in part because of an aversion to debt and in part because of a lack of encouragement. 


Listeners: Tell us if you were the first member of your family to go to college and who encouraged you. Who convinced you that it was a real possibility and worth it? Call us up or comment!

Comments [15]

Go to college

it was the sameway to me just looked and see graduated people just live better worked better and happier
Go To College

Jan. 07 2011 02:09 PM
Fran from Upper West Side

I was encouraged to go to college to meet a future doctor, lawyer or dentist. Back in the day, the path to success for a woman was thought to be: Go to college, become a teacher, put your husband through professional school and you will be repaid with security and riches for the rest of your life. Of course, we know now that many of those dreams were shattered by divorce. Fortunately, going to college made me realize I had other options and I struck out on my own.

Aug. 21 2010 09:20 AM
Peggy from Haworth, NJ

It was always assumed I had to go to college. My mother, when as a 5 year old I told someone I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up, immediately said, "No, you should be a doctor."

Also, my high school typing teacher, Mr. Karolac, insisted to us soon-to-be secretaries that we should all continue our education because as women we would have the most important job in the world, raising children. I was struck by how profound that statement was.

On a closing note, my mother, who had six children at home, went to college in her spare time and graduated at the top of her class. What a difference it made in her self confidence and our lives at home. She wasn't the first to graduate but she was the proudest.

Aug. 20 2010 11:05 AM
Nez from NY

You (WNYC) might want to look at what is going on at CUNY right now. After so many stories about overwhelming enrollment, I was told today that over 500 expected freshman have not registered at CIty College and that sdjunct classes are being cut left and right. What happened to all those students.
You might want to do a story on the insecurity of adjuncts as well. We teach the majority of classes at all these schools, but have zero job security.

Aug. 20 2010 11:02 AM
Patricia from Forest Hills

Neither of my parents went to college, my mom was a dressmaker and my dad an electrician. They migrated from Colombia. They kept taking to us about "when" we went to college, not ever "if" we'd go.

Aug. 20 2010 10:58 AM
Michael from New Jersey

No one from my family encouraged me. It was during the 80's, I was in a job that I did not like, and then the majority of my friends contracted AIDS, got sick and died. This was the catalyst for me to pursue something I loved, and that was art. I enrolled in a private art college and six years later got my Masters in art.

Aug. 20 2010 10:58 AM
Ash in Chelsea

As a black young man in the segregated South, in the 1950s, college was never even mentioned in my family, But I was a bright student in school.

One day, I arrived at school and was sent to take an early admission test to college by the school counselors. I did so well, that I won an early admission scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. I was 15 years old at the time. My fellow students gave a fund raising dance to help me get funds for the train ticket, etc.

I graduated with a BA in Math in 1955 at 19 years of age.

Aug. 20 2010 10:56 AM
CHRISTINE from New Jersey

Brian: In my day, my family inculcated me with notions that girls didn't have to go to college. I also heard the word "waste." It will be a waste of money to send a women to college if all she's going to do is wash dishes and change diapers.

Those words motivaed me. My mother laughed at me and discouraged me when I went to college as a married woman with two children.

I am a teacher now, and I always felt that as I worked towards my degree, I educated my sons also. "When you educate a woman, you educate a family and a new generation." It's never a waste.

Aug. 20 2010 10:53 AM
Diane from Long Island

When I was in my twenties I was fortunate to work for someone who was a great mentor. He encouraged me to go back to school. It took me some time but I did go back when I was in my late 30's. My children were toddlers at the time and it took me 8 years to get my associates, while working full-time. Well I loved it so much I went on to finish my undergrad degree and now in my mid 50s I am almost finished with my Masters!

Aug. 20 2010 10:53 AM

I tested into Hunter College High School. From day one it was assumed that we'd all go to college, and if we wanted to, to Ivy League schools.

Aug. 20 2010 10:53 AM
Karen from Brooklyn

I am a gay woman who was a teen runaway. My first girlfriend was a collage student and encouraged me to go to college. I have since completed a masters degree at Columbia.

Aug. 20 2010 10:51 AM
Tina from New Jersey

Simple, peer presure from my High School. There were no expectations from my family, but everyone in my High School was going to college so I just assumed I would go also. Although my parents paid for my education, they pretty much left it to me to figure out where I would go and what I would major in.

Aug. 20 2010 10:49 AM
pordy from NJ

A friend in high school was forced by his parents to go through the process so I played along (got out of class to go to college fairs!). I was bound for military or take over family small tire repair business. 9 years later I had a PhD- go figure!

Aug. 20 2010 10:48 AM
Camille from NJ but originally from Bklyn

My family did. They're immigrants from Trinidad. But it was an minority outreach program from Yale that came to my school and introduced the idea of an ivy league school to me. I actually had to fight with my family because they wanted me to go to Fordham and I wanted to go to Yale. They had no idea what or where Yale was. I ended up putting my foot down and went to Yale. The learned pretty quickly that it was the right choice.

Aug. 20 2010 10:46 AM

no one encouraged me. I just looked around and saw that people who went to college lived better lives. so I guess everybody encouraged me.

Aug. 20 2010 09:59 AM

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