First-generation student’s joy goes viral

A student’s moving reaction to her acceptance letter, captured on video, earned national media attention for Gettysburg and our commitment to making education accessible.

MSNBC and The Huffington Post featured a video of Senait Weldemariam ’16, who enrolled on a full scholarship this fall. Her parents left the war-torn African nation of Eritrea in 1993; she is the first member of their family to enter college.

The video premiered at a May event in New York, when Gettysburg was honored as the first college partner of the Young Women’s Leadership Network’s College Bound Initiative (CBI), which serves nearly 9,000 low-income city high school students.

Since 2004, Gettysburg has enrolled 63 CBI students; nearly 700 have visited campus. Nine schools, including Cornell University and the University of Rochester, have followed our lead and become CBI partners.

“It’s about increasing the accessibility of excellent higher education opportunities for young people who might not otherwise have that opportunity,” President Riggs said at the event.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Sun, 2 Sep 2012


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