Celebrating 20 Years of College First

Students in lab

Quotes from College First Alumni

“Best experience of my life. It was my first job, I learned so much from it. Taught me to be responsible and it opened my mind in so many levels… Best summer days I had. Enjoy every single activity we did.”
Maria (College First 2003-2004)

“I truly loved my College First experience! I learned so much about the STEM fields and I have such fond memories. I enjoyed the balance of science studies, mentor shadowing, and college planning. I would love to support this program in the future as much as I can! College First is truly a spectacular program that helps Chicago city youth explore their passion for the STEM field and prepares them for the college path. I highly recommend this program to all Chicago high schoolers!”
Iveta (Science First 2004, College First 2005, 2006, 2007)

“College First helped form a bond with the other friends of mine that attended so we can help each other stay focus in school & grades etc.”
Jaime (College First 2002)

“I really enjoyed my years with the program; I really loved the mentorship program. It gave me an opportunity to work around professional people in their field. The passion they had for their job gave me hope and inspired me to search for a career that would give me as much enjoyment as it gave them. Because of mentors like them, I volunteer at different schools and attempt to inspire children to search for the path/road to college, to reach for the stars and become anything and everything they want to be. I would not trade anything in the world for my years at the Garden; they are and will always be my fondest memories.”
Jakelin (College First 1997, 1998, 1999)

“College First provided students the access to network and collaborate with diverse students from all over the Chicago area. I personally believe the program is highly beneficial to inner city youth who have limited opportunities within their own communities, which is sometimes the only place they have familiarity with. Thanks for the opportunity!”
Shatara (College First 2001, 2002)