The Helena Kennedy Foundation (@theHKF) celebrated the success of two alumni, Kirsty Young and Rosie Wainwright, securing national awards Return to Learning and Outstanding Individual Award at the Festival of Learning 2021.
@TheHKF - At the time, my earlier years of education felt normal. Just like the rest of the students in my area, I was learning a well-trodden curriculum in the backdrop of a seaside town. Life felt easy, problems appeared small and the world outside of my town’s bubble seemed non-existent. Fairly naïve in thought, I began to contemplate the ‘university or to not university’ question in 2014. While scrutinising this decision with my family, I ironically unravelled what I didn’t have access to. At this I was consequently introduced to the term ‘first-gen’.
A ‘first-generation’ student, in my context, can be defined as a student whose parents did not attend university. Chucking in a middle-income household plus a town with the lowest access rates to higher education in the country, the burden became significant. It meant that I didn’t always have access to the educational resources I would have liked. It meant that I often felt undeserving to be learning amongst students from more privileged backgrounds. It meant that my parents were unable to understand my Harvard referencing stresses.