LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Some Florida Gulf Coast University students are supporting each other, as they make family history.
"I came back to school after getting laid off from the work force for the first time in my life in 2008," said Jenny Williamson, who is a senior majoring in journalism.
Jenny doesn't share much in common with her classmates at FGCU.
"I had to take some classes that I hadn't taken in 18 years with students who weren't born when I had last taken it...but I was like, I'm going to do this for me and I'm going to go back to school," she said.
She does share that determination with fellow first generation students. They're part of a club that gets federally funded help through Student Support Services.
"Our aim is to help them persist through college and retain them through the years and help them graduate," said Coordinator Dan Compo.
Compo brought the group to the WINK-TV studios to ask questions but we thought their own stories were compelling.
"My mother and father were born in Haiti," Jean-Claudel Saint-Preux told us.
Jean-Claudel is a budding businessman. He says the support from the first gen club isn't just financial.
"Small things, big things. Not only with money and tutoring but someone to go and talk to when there are problems in your life. Just someone to go and talk to and center yourself," he said.
It's the same connection Jenny feels.
"It focuses on where are you going and how are you going to get there. Show us the steps that you're planning to take and where going to help you get there," said Jenny.
When Jenny graduates this Spring, she will still be the first in her family by only three weeks. Her younger sister is on track to complete her college degree as well.
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