BOCA RATON, Fla-- Neasha Prince is a junior at the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University and the first generation in her family to go to college, thanks to the Kelly/Strul scholarship program.
"I have an older sister in a single-parent home, my mom worked three jobs. She immigrated from Haiti in her 30s," she said.
Less than a year ago, Neasha started an on-campus organization for first-generation students. It offers support as students get used to college life.
"We pretty much just meet up and just talk. We talk about spring break, we talk about the things we want to endeavor, we talk about what we are struggling with," she said.
The organization, called First and Proud, meets weekly.
"Join First and proud, we would love to have you. And at the end of the semester it grew to 500. And now since we are at our one year anniversary, we have over 1200 members," she said.
"You couldn't ask for a better ambassador for the program. You couldn't ask for a better role model for the scholars after her," said FAU Office of First Generation Student Success director Ron Oliver.
Freshman Tashyra Johnson is part of the organization Neasha started: "Talking about what are your struggles, what are you overcoming, how classes are how is life and everything, so it really does help, it really does."
Valeria Tineo is also part of First & Proud: "I am an only child I don't have any older siblings to help me along with this journey so I have the first and proud family."
Neasha says going to college and starting the organization is a positive step. "This is the best gift that I could ever give to my mom knowing that i am affiliated with a scholarship and I am creating culture here on campus."
First generation college students aren't the only ones involved in this organization. Other students are involved as well, including freshmen.
The deadline for a scholarship for first generation college students is April 1st. For more information, click here.