Lindsay Daniel, a third-year student at Lindsey Wilson College, is a student leader passionate about addressing access to education. In the past three years, she has served over 1,120 hours within the local school systems, building capacity in their afterschool programs, and she served last summer with Upward Bound, a program designed to prepare high-risk and first-generation high school students for collegiate success. During her time with Upward Bound, Lindsay built and facilitated curriculum to encourage the students with whom she worked to not only excel academically but also to begin understanding and exploring social justice issues and policy in order to connect their academics with real-world applications. Lindsay works every day through various campus and community organizations to promote access to education and collegiate success.
As a first-generation college student, I am passionate about encouraging others to pursue higher education despite what level of education their caregiver(s) received. College was never mandatory or expected of my siblings and me, but I knew that I could foster change and develop skills that would help me to excel in a specific discipline despite the lack of understanding or support that I received from home. Individuals in my school helped me to recognize my potential, and that is what I strive to do as well. I have been able to work one on one with elementary school students who have been in and out of foster care and others who have been neglected to the point that they do not know how to read as a sophomore in high school. I relate to these students in a way that professionals may not be able to because I was once that at-risk child. Through the mountains and valleys I encountered while paving my way as a first-generation college student, I have been able to encourage and hopefully inspire others to believe that they, too, are capable of breaking the stigma attached to those who are not always dealt a privileged life when it comes to higher education.