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First Generation Books

I Was Their American Dream

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid. Malaka Gharib's triumphant graphic memoir brings to life her teenage antics and illuminates earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised.

The Loneliest Americans

The Loneliest Americans is the unforgettable story of Kang and his family as they move from a housing project in Cambridge to an idyllic college town in the South and eventually to the West Coast. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Asian America, as millions more immigrants, many of them working-class or undocumented, stream into the country. At the same time, upwardly mobile urban professionals have struggled to reconcile their parents' assimilationist goals with membership in a multicultural elite--all while trying to carve out a new kind of belonging for their own children, who are neither white nor truly "people of color."

Rise

When the Hart-Celler Act passed in 1965, opening up US immigration to non-Europeans, it ushered in a whole new era. But even to the first generation of Asian Americans born in the US after that milestone, it would have been impossible to imagine that sushi and boba would one day be beloved by all, that a Korean boy band named BTS would be the biggest musical act in the world, that one of the most acclaimed and popular movies of 2018 would be Crazy Rich Asians, or that we would have an Asian American Vice President. And that's not even mentioning the creators, performers, entrepreneurs, execs and influencers who've been making all this happen, behind the scenes and on the screen; or the activists and representatives continuing to fight for equity, building coalitions and defiantly holding space for our voices and concerns. And still: Asian America is just getting started. The timing could not be better for this intimate, eye-opening, and frequently hilarious guided tour through the pop-cultural touchstones and sociopolitical shifts of the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and beyond.

First-Gen, NextGen

Focusing on the first five years of a young professional's career, First-Gen, NextGen explores the formation of first-generation Latinx individual's identities by redefining what it means to be Latinx in the American workplace. The reader dives headfirst into interviews with Latinx executive leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs who discuss this generation's management of an all too complex environment. Banuelos sheds light on a generation that is capable of enacting positive reform by investigating: Key accelerants Latinx corporate leaders used to advance their careers when they were young professionals, Unique challenges Latinx employees face in the workplace and how to overcome them, Targeted approaches for workplaces to become more inclusive of Latinx individuals and their employee base as a whole, Ways for organizations to go beyond the "business case" for diversity and understand that, when all individuals thrive as who they are, companies are better equipped to meet the needs of their customers and audiences.

Spread Your Wings and FLI

Are you a first-generation low-income (FLI) student? Do you know an FLI student who is college bound or currently in college? Are you in a role to support FLI students, such as an advisor, dean, or professor? As universities focus on increasing diversity on campus, they miss the mark on actually providing first-generation, low-income, and other minority students with the tools that they need to succeed in college. [This book] is chock full of inspiration and actionable resources FLI students need to be successful in college and prepare for life after their undergraduate experience.

Teaching STEM to First Generation College Students

Some students come to college knowing the ropes, knowing what it takes to be successful as STEM students. But many do not. Research shows that students who are the first-generation in their family to attend or complete college are likely to arrive at your classroom not knowing what it takes to be successful. And data shows that more first-generation students are likely to be arriving on your doorstep in the near future. What can you do to help these students be successful? This book can provide you with some research based methods that are quick, easy, and effortless. These are steps that you can take to help first-generation college students succeed without having to change the way you teach[...] With a little effort, you can enhance the retention of underrepresented groups in your discipline, at your institution and play a role in national efforts to enhance diversity in STEM.

Decoding College

Decoding College is a slice-of-life, college exposure guide aimed at first-generation college students and their families. Decoding College provides a comprehensive guide to the basics of the college admissions, selection and enrollment processes while specifically focusing on issues unique to students of color, low-income students, and underrepresented students. Unlike the multitude of college guides available on the market today, Decoding College utilizes first-person accounts told by students on their journey to and through college to provide readers with fresh and vibrant illustrations of each concept. Decoding College doesn't just tell the reader about college, it lets the reader live college vicariously through the experiences of real students on real college campuses. Some stories are inspirational and some are devastating, but each and every one offers an inside glimpse into the challenges, struggles, and successes of those who dare to be the first in their family to go to college.

Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom

This is a book for all faculty who are concerned with promoting the persistence of all students whom they teach. Most recognize that faculty play a major role in student retention and success because they typically have more direct contact with students than others on campus. However, little attention has been paid to role of the faculty in this specific mission or to the corresponding characteristics of teaching, teacher-student interactions, and connection to student affairs activities that lead to students' long-term engagement, to their academic success, and ultimately to graduation. At a time when the numbers of underrepresented students - working adults, minority, first-generation, low-income, and international students - is increasing, this book [...] addresses that lack of specific guidance by providing faculty with additional evidence-based instructional practices geared toward reaching all the students in their classrooms, including those from groups that traditionally have been the least successful, while maintaining high standards and expectations.

Clearing the Path for First-Generation College Students

Clearing the Path for First-Generation College Students comprises a wide range of studies that explore the multidimensional social processes and meanings germane to the experiences of first-generation college students before and during their matriculation into institutions of higher education. The chapters offer timely, empirical examinations of the ways that these students negotiate experiences shaped by structural inequities in higher education institutions and the pathways that lead to them.

Developing and Implementing Promising Practices and Programs for First-Generation College Students

As first-generation students gain greater access to higher education, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities must provide intentional engagement that supports their persistence and graduation. This book serves as a guidebook for higher education practitioners seeking to implement or enhance first-generation programming at their institutions. The chapters provide detailed descriptions of the development, implementation, and assessment of programs and practices intended to support the success of first-generation college students. Authors share insights on building allies, identifying and working through challenges, and applicable takeaways for implementing similar practices and programs at the reader's own institutions.

First Year Student to First Year Success

This book is for incoming and first year college students who are ready to make the most of their college experience, beyond what you might hear at at orientation. This book is a combination of the super secret insider tips to college that either us authors learned themselves, or they kept hearing from their campus leadership programs. From classroom seating tips, to self-care techniques, to scoring the perfect campus job, this book is your insider's guide to college success that most likely won't be told to you at orientation. You'll notice that the size, layout, and interactive sections of the book are all designed to make this book be your ultimate college field-guide that you can squeeze into a backpack or coat pocket. Read straight through, or thumb to a topic that's most relevant to you.

Technology and Engagement

[This book] is based on a four-year study of how first generation college students use social media, aimed at improving their transition to and engagement with their university. Through web technology, including social media sites, students were better able to maintain close ties with family and friends from home, as well as engage more with social and academic programs at their university. This 'ecology of transition' was important in keeping the students focused on why they were in college, and helped them become more integrated into the university setting. By showing the gains in campus capital these first-generation college students obtained through social media, the authors offer concrete suggestions for how other universities and college-retention programs can utilize the findings to increase their own retention of first-generation college students.  

Born Bright

Born in the 1970s in Los Angeles, California, Mason was raised by a 16-year-old single mother who dropped out of high school. From wondering where her next meal would come from to learning the deadlines for college entrance exams by eavesdropping on the few white kids in her predominantly Black and Latino high school, Mason describes in vivid detail the chaos, failing systems, isolation, and violence that make the American Dream out of reach for so many. While showing us her own path out of poverty, Mason examines the conditions that make poverty nearly impossible to escape and exposes the presumption harbored by many-that the poor don't help themselves enough. In truth, the convoluted, bureaucratic lattice of societal rules that govern everything from education to criminal justice is structurally impenetrable by the poor. With first-hand experience learning these rules for herself, Mason illuminates the sheer fortitude that it takes to navigate systems designed only for the success of the few.

Crack the Code

Start college with your own wise mentor-in-a-book. Be prepared for challenges and opportunities by learning from the experiences of dozens of First Generation students who speak to you in this Guide about what they wished they had known and now, want you to know.

Every Student Has a Story

Personal Narratives from First-Generation College Students. This book is a compilation of essays about what it's like being the first person in your family to go to college. TRIO Students at Indiana University -Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana offer compelling narratives of personal experiences stemming from being a first-generation student in college. While no two situations are alike, many students report struggling with social and cultural adjustments; insecurities about information or processes; personal family situations and dynamics; and physical or mental health issues. Some of the struggles students chose to write about in this book include cultural differences, family tragedies, unrealistic expectations of college, family health issues, and insecurities about choosing a major.

At the Intersection

The experiences of first-generation college students are not monolithic. The nexus of identities matter, and this book is intended to challenge the reader to explore what it means to be a first-generation college student in higher education. Designed for use in classrooms and for use by the higher education practitioner on a college campus today, At the Intersections will be of value to the reader throughout their professional career. The book is divided into four parts with chapters of research and theory interspersed with thought pieces to provide personal stories to integrate the research and theory into lived experience. Each thought piece ends with questions to inspire readers to engage with the topic.

College Belonging

College Belonging reveals how colleges' and universities' efforts to foster a sense of belonging in their students are misguided. Colleges bombard new students with the message to "get out there!" and "find your place" by joining student organizations, sports teams, clubs and the like. Nunn shows that this reflects a flawed understanding of what belonging is and how it works. Drawing on the sociological theories of Emile Durkheim, College Belonging shows that belonging is something that members of a community offer to each other. It is something that must be given, like a gift. Individuals cannot simply walk up to a group or community and demand belonging. That's not how it works. The group must extend a sense of belonging to each and every member. It happens by making a person feel welcome, to feel that their presence matters to the group, that they would be missed if they were gone. This critical insight helps us understand why colleges' push for students simply to "get out there!" does not always work. 

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it's not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister's story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

Black Girl Unlimited

Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism--all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together and Ibi Zoboi's American Street. Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she's worked for.

For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts

For generations, Brown girls have had to push against powerful forces of sexism, racism, and classism, often feeling alone in the struggle. By founding Latina Rebels, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez has created a community to help women fight together. In For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, she offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all women of color. She crafts powerful ways to address the challenges Brown girls face, from imposter syndrome to colorism. She empowers women to decolonize their worldview, and defy "universal" white narratives, by telling their own stories. Her book guides women of color toward a sense of pride and sisterhood and offers essential tools to energize a movement. May it spark a fire within you.

33 Simple Strategies for Faculty

Many students struggle with the transition from high school to university life. This is especially true of first-generation college students, who are often unfamiliar with the norms and expectations of academia. College professors usually want to help, but many feel overwhelmed by the prospect of making extra time in their already hectic schedules to meet with these struggling students. 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty is a guidebook filled with practical solutions to this problem. It gives college faculty concrete exercises and tools they can use both inside and outside of the classroom to effectively bolster the academic success and wellbeing of their students. To devise these strategies, educational sociologist Lisa M. Nunn talked with a variety of first-year college students, learning what they find baffling and frustrating about their classes, as well as what they love about their professors' teaching.

My American Journey

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recalls his youth, his military service, and his rise to the heights of America's political and military elite.

Becoming

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world [...] In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms.

My Beloved World

The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother[...] With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney's office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty. Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In this large, comprehensive, revelatory biography, Jane De Hart explores the central experiences that crucially shaped Ginsburg's passion for justice, her advocacy for gender equality, her meticulous jurisprudence: her desire to make We the People more united and our union more perfect. At the heart of her story and abiding beliefs--her Jewish background. Tikkun olam, the Hebrew injunction to "repair the world," with its profound meaning for a young girl who grew up during the Holocaust and World War II. We see the influence of her mother, Celia Amster Bader, whose intellect inspired her daughter's feminism, insisting that Ruth become independent, as she witnessed her mother coping with terminal cervical cancer (Celia died the day before Ruth, at seventeen, graduated from high school). From Ruth's days as a baton twirler at Brooklyn's James Madison High School, to Cornell University, Harvard and Columbia Law Schools (first in her class), to being a law professor at Rutgers University (one of the few women in the field and fighting pay discrimination), hiding her second pregnancy so as not to risk losing her job; founding the Women's Rights Law Reporter, writing the brief for the first case that persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down a sex-discriminatory state law, then at Columbia (the law school's first tenured female professor); becoming the director of the women's rights project of the ACLU, persuading the Supreme Court in a series of decisions to ban laws that denied women full citizenship status with men. Her years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, deciding cases the way she played golf, as she, left-handed, played with right-handed clubs--aiming left, swinging right, hitting down the middle.

A Fighting Chance

Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher--an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcylaws? Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks. She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive--and watched--Senate race in the country. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class--and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.

His Truth Is Marching On

John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, was a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature." From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family's chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it-his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis's commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God-and an unshakable belief in the power of hope. Meacham calls Lewis "as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century." A believer in the injunction that one should love one's neighbor as oneself, Lewis was arguably a saint in our time, risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful. In many ways he brought a still-evolving nation closer to realizing its ideals, and his story offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.

Gifted Hands

Gifted Hands reveals the remarkable journey of Dr. Ben Carson from an angry, struggling young boy with everything stacked against him to the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. As a boy, he did poorly in school and struggled with anger. If it were not for the persistence of his mother, a single parent who worked three jobs and pushed her sons to do their best, his story may have ended tragically. Join Dr. Carson on his journey from a struggling inner-city student to the pinnacle of his career as a world-renowned neurosurgeon. A man of humility, decency, compassion, courage, and sensitivity, he now serves as a role model for everyone who wants to achieve their God-given potential. As you learn more about Dr. Carson's amazing story, you'll be inspired to: Take charge of your own destiny Hone your God-given gifts Face adversity head on Filled with fascinating stories, Gifted Hands will transport you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world, and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician who lives to help others.

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