Lyons First Program to guide first generation college students

College, career center provides guidance on receiving higher education

Isabella Rodriguez , Freelance Reporter

When multiple first generation college students were asking for guidance on college planning, the college and career counselor at LT Cody Dailey, wanted to help. Dailey, being a first generation college student himself, crafted a support program to guide first generation college students at LT.  

“I feel that every student has the right to pursue and obtain a college degree if they want to,” Dailey said. “We never want to hold people back from their dreams simply because their [family] didn’t go to college.”

Back in the fall, on Nov 17, Dailey participated in the PSI forms at north campus. A first gen student gave feedback, requesting more support for students like them. Dailey noticed that there was a lot of interest and demand for college support, so he decided to create a program to help. This semester has kicked off the beginning of the Lyons First Program. Lyons First is to support first generation college students through college exploration. 

“Sometimes parents are worried that they can’t support their students if they’ve never gone to college,” Dailey said. 

A first generation college student is a student whose parents or family did not receive a full college education  or didn’t receive a college education in the United States. Based on various surveys, about 35% of LT students identify as first generation college students, Dailey said. 

Lyons First is open for all students to join, Dailey said. The first event they held for Lyons First was a zoom meeting open to all first gen students that took place on Jan 24. The zoom had multiple speakers from various universities and organizations, speaking on the support systems made for first gen students. Recently conferences began with students. These conferences will occur quarterly and help seek out advice and feedback from students. It allows students to express what they want to take from this program. For seniors, Dailey plans to meet with them monthly.

“I have been stressing out since the start, because I don’t know anyone who has been to college to help me,” Merely Rubio ‘24 said. 

Many first generation college students are too shy to speak out and ask for help, Rubio said. This program has allowed students to get the help they were too scared to ask for. Many first generation college students tend to feel alone when planning for college. 

“I’ve gained confidence, because I know I’m not the only one. There are other people going through the same things as me. I don’t feel so alone anymore,” Rubio said. 

There was not much guidance for first gen students. There haven’t been many resources to help them out. Many students don’t feel they have someone to help them with college, making them feel they have to do it all on their own, Noelani Flores ‘25 said. The lack of support can discourage first gen students who want to go to college. 

“We don’t really have the resources available to us,” Flores said. “It’s hard because I don’t really know what colleges expect from me.”