Heather Campbell grew up in the Treasure Valley as a first-generation college student from a working class family, and hadn’t quite found her place at school or the kind of friends that would help her be the student and person she really wanted to be. But then Campbell was introduced to the TRIO Upward Bound program in high-school and she began to blossom into the college-bound student and confident young person she was meant to be.
“(Through TRIO) I was surrounded by people who had goals and aspirations,” said Campbell. “When I came to Boise State I joined TRIO Rising Scholars and from there just grew my passion.”
Campbell initially wanted to become a teacher to stay involved with TRIO in her career, but now is on a path to study law. However, Campbell is still heavily involved with TRIO as a senior peer mentor in the Rising Scholars program at Boise State, paying her experience forward by mentoring a group of students and teaching basic college life skills to first-year students in the TRIO classroom.
In addition, Campbell, along with fellow peer mentor (and her childhood best friend from the TRIO Upward Bound program) are starting a TRIO student club to get students together more frequently for support, resume building and networking. They, along with other TRIO mentors are planning a first-ever gala event February 26, 2022 during TRIO week. Campbell is excited to be able to help get first-generation students together on campus for a special event where they can dress up and celebrate their success.
Campbell has come a long way from her high-school experience and become a leader in an organization that she says was the deciding factor in coming to Boise State. When she first visited campus and stayed in the dorms as part of the Rising Scholars program, she was able to meet people like her and see the possibilities for success at college. “Hearing other people’s success stories, who didn’t come from money or don’t have the best support system, it showed me if they can do it, I can do it,” said Campbell. “It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made, I really love it here.”
In recognition of the annual First-Generation College Celebration on November 8, the College of Education is profiling outstanding first generation students November 8-12. The Center for Multicultural Educational Opportunities, housed in the College of Education, includes a variety of programs that support first-generation college students.