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#LA #FirstGeneration "Go #College" Initiative

Ground-breaking campaign aims to shrink the higher education gap for first generation students, minorities, underserved youth

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: March 28, 2014


#LA #FirstGeneration "Go #College" Initiative


Filmed over the course of three years, the First Generation documentary is narrated by two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Blair Underwood and explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low income students. The documentary profiles the journey of four students attempting to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their communities as they pursue their college dreams.

"A college education can change not just a life, but the prospects of an entire community," said John Rasmussen, head of Wells Fargo's Education Financial Services. "Go College! begins in Los Angeles, one of the most influential and diverse school districts and the hub of American cinema to unite key influencers and start a national dialogue on how we can shrink the higher education gap. By working with First Generation Films to create the Go College! initiative, we hope to plant seeds of hope in America's first generation students and make the prospects of achieving higher education a reality."

The Go College! tour will feature free screenings for students and educators at local high schools and other locations in select cities. At each screening attendees will have the opportunity to engage the filmmaking team of Adam and Jaye Fenderson, cast members, Wells Fargo private student lending experts and local educational leaders in a dialogue focused on how to make attending college a reality. Students and parents will be encouraged to submit education-related questions before and after the events using the hashtags #GoCollege and #WFCollegeTour on Twitter. Free information packets on college application processes, scholarship opportunities, tips to estimate college costs, and how to capitalize on various funding sources to pay for college will be provided at all screenings.

"Our goal in making the film was to help high school students learn from their peers about the college admissions process," said co-director Jaye Fenderson, a former senior admissions officer at Columbia University and the author of Seventeen's Guide To Getting Into College. "But it evolved to become so much more than that ÔÇô an emotional experience and message that resonated with underserved communities."

"By bringing the film directly to students and speaking with their parents, we want to remove any perceived and actual barriers to college access," said co-director Adam Fenderson.

Go College! will tour Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland and Washington DC in Spring 2014. In Fall 2014, the campaign will visit the cities of Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Houston, and Dallas. For tour information, please visit FirstGenerationFilm.com/gocollege.

"After more than 40 years in the private student lending marketplace, Wells Fargo knows the importance of higher education," said Rasmussen. "Next to purchasing a home, financing a college education is one of the most important life events for our customers. First Generation is a truly inspiring film and we hope that the film and GoCollege! helps students and their families achieve their goals of obtaining a higher education."

Filmed over the course of three years and featuring some of our nation's top educational experts (Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation; J.B. Schramm, College Summit; Dr. Bill Tierney, University of Southern California), First Generation is a 95-minute documentary that explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation. For more information about the film visit www.firstgenerationfilm.com

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