Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset Among First Generation Students


Certified to teach the “entrepreneurship mindset,” I am trained to facilitate the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative’s (ELI) Ice House lessons for organizations and college students.  I am also an advocate for first generation, low income college students.  At first blush, it may seem as though entrepreneurs and first-generation students have nothing much in common.  That assumption, as I have recently discovered, is dead wrong.

The first generation college students I have had the privilege of getting to know are entrepreneurial in nature, but they have yet to leverage it for their advantage.

The students I teach and advise are already risk takers. Circumventing barriers and navigating roadblocks is almost second nature to them.  My college students have dreams, but many have learned to keep their aspirations to themselves–hidden, locked from preying eyes.

Our generation must relinquish the key. We unlock their human potential when we give them permission to dream.  Dreaming involves trusting and expects sharing.   It starts with us.  See the students for who and what they are.  Listen and learn from them. And in turn, we can help them uncover what they have known all along. They are the captains of their ships and the masters of their fates.

Research by Gallup Poll speaks to this point.Privilege May Not Be an Advantage for College Graduates