In Know That You Are Worthy: Stories from First-Generation College Graduates, 31 alumni who were the first in their family to obtain a college degree share their experiences in college. These stories illuminate how the struggles of first-generation students are primarily due to a combination of multiple social inequities that are ignored, reinforced, and perpetuated by exclusive college systems. These authors speak directly to current and future first-generation students, offering tips and advice for success, along with powerful words of encouragement in their emotionally rich narratives. College faculty and staff are challenged to shift their perspectives from viewing these students from a deficit lens or attempting to make them more like continuing-generation students, to instead having deeply honest confrontations with the pedagogies and structures of college, which are frequently so ingrained that they are invisible, and that cater to continuing-generation students, who are often predominantly white, middle- and upper-class. Colleges can create a more equitable system in which universities are enriched by the wisdom, experiences, and talents of first-generation students while promoting a generative culture for all students.
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