Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park helps first generation students get into college

TINLEY PARK, Ill (WLS) -- As students at Victor J Andrew High School are trying to figure out what their plans of the day will look like, some, like 16-year-old high school junior Ammar Aburadi, are trying to navigate their way to higher education.

Aburadi is one of dozens of first generation college-bound students at Andrew High School.

"You have less, I guess, guidance from family. You kind of have to go on your own," said Aburadi.

That's why guidance director Andrew Eder developed "First Gen Day." The program provides first generation students the resources they need in order to plan their future and achieve their academic goals.

"When a student is the first person in their family to go to college, it will allow them to change the trajectory of their family forever," said Eder.

First Gen Day is a first of its kind program for School District 230. There are roundtable and panel discussions, including teachers who share their personal struggles with being the first in their families to attend college.

Over 1,000 students at Victor J Andrew High School are in the process of prepping for college. Over 200 of those students are first generation college-bound. That means that their parents either never went to college or have never been through the college application process. What First Gen day aims to do to is to alleviate some of those stresses for the first generation students.

With the extra support, Aburadi is facing the future with optimism and pride in becoming the first in his family to attend college.

"Knowing that you're the first will push you to complete it," said Aburadi.

At the end of this year, will pair up students with teacher mentors. They also plan to have students mentor students.
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