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K-State Today

January 21, 2015

First-generation college student documentary airs Friday on Kansas PBS stations

Submitted by Patrice Scott

A documentary produced in the College of Education received so much attention that public broadcasting channels have opted to air it this week.

"A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students" will be simulcast on all three Kansas PBS stations at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23. The film premiered on campus in November and sparked national attention when first lady Michelle Obama commented about the trailer in a blog post on Upworthy.com.

About 40 percent of K-State's undergraduates — twice the national average — are first-generation college students, while 70 percent of undergraduates are first-generation students at K-State Salina. The film delves into the lives of several current students and three successful alumni from across Kansas who share deeply personal accounts about their lives and journeys to college.

The film was developed in concert with K-State's First Scholars Program with the goal of bringing to light all of the richness and diversity this population of students contributes to the university.

"The reason we started the 'A Walk in My Shoes' video series was to call attention to people around us — people that we may or may not have the opportunity to interact with," said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. "The goal is for us to see how much we have in common with each other and to grow."

The film's trailer is available on the college's YouTube channel.