Students Discuss Socioeconomics in College at “I’m First” Workshop

By Andy Weir

First-generation and low-income Northwestern students gathered in Great Hall Wednesday to discuss the role of socioeconomic class in higher education.

The workshop, dubbed “I’m First,” aimed to demystify income and class by bringing together members of the Northwestern community to share their stories and life experiences, highlighting unique struggles of first-generation and low-income college students in particular.

Northwestern’s Student Enrichment Services and Quest Scholars organized the event, which featured free food and music before the discussion.

“The point of this workshop is really to create some discussion around class, specifically trying to touch on the experiences of low-income people and how those differ from the experiences of others,” Northwestern Quest Scholars Co-President Christian Reyes said.

The “I’m First” workshop was part of a weeklong series of discussions and events, named Money Matters Week, to explore finances in college.

“I think it’s important for other people who aren’t first-generation or low-income, because it’s one of those things that people don’t think makes a difference in your experience here at Northwestern, but it does,” Weinberg freshman Sofia Sanchez, a first-generation college student herself, said.

The week featured dialogues and interactive workshops for low-income students, first-generation college students and students of color at Northwestern. The goal, according to Student Enrichment Services, was to create an open and safe space for students navigating these challenges.

“The experiences of first-generation and low-income students might be similar, but it varies from person to person. I think one thing we can all share together is that we need some support,” Reyes said.