Many view education as the symbol of upward mobility in American society. The reality of higher education presents quite a pessimistic view, however.
A degree doesn't guarantee mobility.
Low income students who earn a college degree are less likely to become rich than higher income students who don't.
Getting a degree isn't easy, though.
An open door into college can often lead to closed doors to a degree a few years later. Causes are numerous: academic troubles, financial issues, and family problems.
FLI Scholars may officially be known as the low income and first generation students on campus, but they're more than that. They're bridge builders, visionaries, and leaders. Their identities are multifaceted, as are their stories and experiences, but they're united by their passion, compassion, and enthusiasm. They are the manifestation of the American Dream with their determination and resourcefulness.
The college experience, however, can be intimidating in many ways. Because elite institutions such as Pomona were not built with the low-income perspective in mind, many FLI Scholars can find it difficult to navigate this space. Having to find commonality between two very different perspectives about life- the home experience and the college experience- can cause identity crisis and disillusionment. One part of the hurdle has been overcome, but what comes afterward? Uncertainty and anxiety are common.
We know this through our own experiences, and we understand. That is why we have built this support network in place. We know that it can be difficult to find a space to reflect on low income and first generation issues. We know that academic and extracurricular opportunities, both in and outside of Pomona, can be difficult to wade through. We seek to find solace in this complex adventure and provide a wide variety of resources that can capture the multiple facets and needs of the low-income perspective.