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As a First-Generation College Student, I Know the Power of Education

July 16, 2020

By: Emily Bryan

What do I want to be when I grow up? What will make me happy? Where can I go from here? I had no answer to these questions throughout my earlier years of education. As a first-generation college student, it was tough for me to know what my next steps were after graduating high school. I can still remember asking one of my teachers if I was supposed to apply as an undergraduate or graduate student. I had a long journey ahead of me.


college graduate throwing confetti in the air


My parents have always supported me through all of my endeavors. I played multiple sports in high school, and they were there, every time, cheering me on. I can’t thank them enough for getting me involved in sports. I think that athletics taught me how to have a passion and drive for something. Sports reinforced the idea that if you work hard enough for something, you’ll get it. Without this motivation, I think I would be on a very different path today.


Unfortunately, my parents could offer me no advice for college except that they knew how important continuing my education was to leading a happy and successful life. However, my brother, who is three years older than me, set the standard. He went to our local college, played baseball, and earned his degree. He did it all on his own. Just two short years later, he is the new owner of our local gym. He’s following his dream.


If he could do it, so could I. Even though I didn’t know exactly where to go, I knew I was going somewhere. And so I was off to Penn State Altoona.


The first months of college were downright tough. It’s no surprise to me that there are so many first-generation college students who fail. I was exposed to so much in such a short amount of time: ideas, cultures, and people. I was also an athlete, taking a full course load, and moving away from home for the first time. There were so many times that first semester when I thought about transferring back home. Something inside me told me I had to stay, I had to finish what I started.


I did stay, and things did get much better. I made amazing friends, had personal connections with my professors, and enjoyed my academic work. I was introduced to an entrepreneurial leadership program on campus that gave me once-in-a lifetime opportunities to professionally develop. This led me to eventually find my passion for marketing. Using my inner creative side along with creating personal relationships gets me out of bed in the morning!


And here I am, four years and one degree later. Finding my way to PRP, where I can combine my love for personal development and growth with my passion for marketing, is an amazing opportunity.


PRP’s culture reminds me of my small hometown. What drives us every day is the fact that we have the ability to help others succeed. We thrive on personal relationships and always put our best foot forward. The edtech industry can be the building block to reaching your goals at any point in your life. Without education, I would not be anywhere near where I am today.


As I start my career with PRP, I look forward to exploring all of my interests and making a lasting impact on my clients. Being so fresh out of college, the expertise provided by my colleagues is exactly what I’m looking for.


As a new member of the Client Success team, I’m here to help PRP’s client family tell their story to all those who need to hear it! I’m so excited for all the opportunities that lie ahead.


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Thanks for sharing!

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