A Half-Century of Supporting First-Generation Students

Iraida Izaguirre

Iraida Izaguirre is one of thousands of Rutgers–Camden students supported by the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program since it started in 1968.

Iraida Izaguirre, a junior majoring in childhood studies at Rutgers University–Camden, one day wants to work helping young people from families without higher education backgrounds attend college. She understands the challenges they face. “I’m the youngest of five siblings, and I’m the first one to go to college,” she said. “That was really important to my family.”

Izaguirre is one of thousands of first-generation college students at Rutgers–Camden who have been supported by the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund since it launched 50 years ago. More commonly known by its acronym, EOF, the Rutgers–Camden program started in 1968 with five students and increased to 55 students the following year. Today, it annually serves about 275 students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Students in the program benefit from one-on-one academic coaching, academic success and career-building workshops, experiential learning, summer programs, and tuition grants.

“Our students are exceptional in every way,” said Marsha Besong, assistant chancellor for student success who directs the Rutgers–Camden EOF program. “We help them to meet their potential.”

Watch a video about the program.

Posted in: 2018 Fall, On Campus

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