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First Scholars


Find out first hand about some of our First Scholar's experiences.

Brianna Jackson

brianna Jackson
As a first generation student, I tend to not reach out and ask for help when I need it. I can be very head-strong and want to do things on my own. While this has helped me in the past, it can only help me so much. With being in First Scholars, I have learned to reach out and ask for help, and asking has gotten me so many places.
Next year, I will become an RLA for the Muggle Studies CAT Community, I have been appointed to Social Chair for Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity, I am a piloting member and Treasurer for the First Generation Student Organization, and I have been employed as an Academic Achievement Center Supplemental Instructor for Sociology 211. I received all of these things because of my hard work and perseverance, but none of it would have been completely obtainable without the First Scholars Program. 
I have made life-long friends and made connections with people that I wouldn't have otherwise crossed their paths. I can attest to this just like a lot of my other peers can, I wouldn't be at K-State without the First Scholars Program and I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to spread my wings and make my mark at K-state.
Ashley Coleman
Ashley Coleman

The last three and a half years at K-State as a First Scholar have been critical in my development as an engaged community member and lifelong learner. Being a first-generation student carries with it many difficulties when transitioning into a collegiate lifestyle that prioritizes success and involvement in the university. The First Scholars program at K-State and other participating universities has eased the difficulties through a number of programs and resources provided to students. Specifically, at K-State through First Scholars, I have had the opportunity to participate in service projects, learn about collegiate resources, and attend lectures and other workshops for personal development.

As a senior in First Scholars, I have the opportunity to create and implement a service project, which is called a legacy project. I chose my project based on a topic that I am particularly passionate about. In Kansas, K-12 computer science education is notoriously subpar. There are many factors that contribute to the issue, one of those factors is the lack of technical educators. In the schools that have programming classes, the educators rarely have a computer science focus. In my experience, they usually have backgrounds in business education or technical competencies education, but these educators invest a large amount of their personal time teaching themselves programming so they can then instruct students. I admire these educators and I wanted to help them instruct pupils in computer science courses. So, in my final semester as a K-State student and First Scholars member I volunteered at Manhattan High School working with their computer science educator. I attended their programming classes every Friday and I worked to introduce new items into the curriculum including Arduino based projects, and a module over the hardware components that go into a computer. This has been an extremely rewarding experience and I plan to continue volunteering with the high school after graduation.

The legacy project has had a huge impact on me personally, and I am glad that I had the opportunity to do it in conjunction with First Scholars. The youth are our future, and I believe we need to invest as much as we can into them. I personally believe First Scholars also agrees with that claim, which is why they have invested so much in me and my fellow scholars.

As I reflect on the last few years, I also want to look forward. I have had the privilege to be in this program and many other programs at K-State, but as this chapter in my life is wrapping up, I would like to share what is in store for the next. I have accepted a full-time position as the Lead iOS Developer at Homebase. Homebase is a startup based in Kansas City developing a Smart Apartment Management platform. I have worked as an intern with them for the last year and I am excited for the future of the company. I have also accepted a position as an Adjunct Instructor at K-State for Fall 2018. I will be teaching a Sophomore level programming class, and I am beyond excited for this opportunity.

Beyond employment, I also plan to continue working with Manhattan High School into the spring semester. After which point, I hope a future First Scholar can follow in my footsteps to help teach the next generation of programmers.

The future is always this mystical being full of many unknowns, but I have no doubt that I have been prepared with all the necessary tools to embrace the challenges head on. For that, I thank First Scholars and everyone else who has been in my life providing me with just the right guidance, right when I needed it most.