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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

NM's first-generation students inspire siblings to pursue college

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023   

First-generation college students face a host of expectations and challenges - and that's why New Mexico State University will spotlight their accomplishments this month. First-gen students account for about one-third of the NMSU student population.

Rosa De La Torre-Burmeister, advising technology assistant director, says parents, siblings and other family members of first-generation students often are overwhelmed with pride.

"From the siblings, it's nothing but excitement and they want to follow," she explained. "They want to be like their brother or sister. They're celebrated as, I would call them, a 'hero.'"

She added many students new to the university system say they're motivated by watching their own parents achieve dreams after moving to the U.S. without financial resources, a firm grasp on English or the opportunity to pursue higher education.

She said first-generation students face pressures at home and school. They may have trouble relating to peers from families who've attended college for decades, learning the unspoken cultural norms and navigating university life. This is the fifth year NMSU will honor those efforts which Torre-Burmeister feels is important, during a time when good news is often overshadowed.

"There's so many successes that we don't celebrate - there are just so many other negative issues out there that we don't celebrate these moments for these students - these individuals who have worked so hard to earn this certification," she continued.

Torre-Burmeister is a first-generation student, who added she still finds it hard to believe she went from picking onions and tomatoes to graduating from Doña Ana Community College and receiving advanced degrees from Penn University and NMSU.


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