Attending college is not a given for millions of kids in America. So many factors decide whether or not a child can go to college, but one of the the main reasons why so many skip college and go right into the workforce is lack of money. College is so expensive these days, many kids turn their eyes to other things. Some of these paths are not so fruitful, and other paths turn out to be devastating.
Alondra Palomino wants to fix that. When she was younger she wanted to go to college but didn’t see a way to make it happen. She was raised by her godparents in a minority community where they primarily spoke Spanish… so she considered herself behind the eight ball early in life.
Even through the hard times, Alondra’s mom (who came from Mexico) and her godparents stressed the importance of education since none of them attended college or knew how to navigate the system.
By the time Palomino reached high school, she knew she’d give anything to go to college. “I needed to be the role model for my younger sister and brother,” she notes. “They needed to know that if I could do it, they could too.”
Now a junior in college, Palomino’s determined to give other first-generation college students the same opportunities she had.
After reflecting on her own experience applying to college, she decided that simply providing workshops for parents of high school students could make a huge impact in the community. So far, she has facilitated four parent workshops.
“I want parents to know that it is possible [for their kids to attend college],” Palomino writes. “It may be challenging, but it’s worth it.”
Palomino likes to end the presentation by asking what parents dream for their kids’ futures. She says the stories they share make her “realize how amazing and dedicated they are. They are so invested in their student’s future and only want the best for them.” The parents, she adds, are always extremely grateful.
Being a first-generation college student is anything but easy. But Palomino is fully committed to helping other students achieve their college dreams. “I truly believe that no matter what your legal status is, everyone should have the right and opportunity to go to college,” she explains. “It is possible, si se puede.”
Alondra is using the knowledge she gained to help others, and that’s what being an American is all about. You learn how to do – and then you help someone else so they can help others. So many parents and kids will benefit from Alondra’s experience ,and they will be the better for it.
Thank you, Alondra. Your mom and godparents raised someone really special!
What do you think about Alondra’s venture to help parents get their children ready for college? Share your thoughts with us!