Kimberly Geter

Smiling African American female standing outside of a brick building.

What are some of the ways in which you support first gen college students?

I provide a safe space for students to feel comfortable asking questions as well as ensuring them that their questions and/or concerns are valid.  I understand a lot of the challenges that first generation students face and I want to help them navigate college, especially at a large institution such as Penn State.  

What are some of the challenges that you see first-gen students face? How do they overcome those challenges (or manage the challenge if it cannot be overcome)?

One challenge in particular that I see first generation college students face is not feeling comfortable asking for help and/or not knowing where to go to ask for help.  Although this is a challenge, I see students figure things out by researching the resources available to them.  

What strengths do first gen students possess? How have you seen that lead to their success in college and beyond?

I see first gen students with a lot of grit and determination.  Being the first in the family to go to college can create a lot of pressure, especially if students have younger family members watching them.  Regardless of any setbacks they face, they regroup and try again rather than give up they try again, determined to reach their goals.

What advice would you give to first gen students?

Create a good support system when you arrive to college.  Start with your Academic Advisor and connect with other adults who want to see you succeed.  Also, have a strong network of friends who are working to accomplish similar goals.