Alexandria Allen is the first member of her family to attend college but if she has her way, she won’t be the last.
“I see myself as a role model for my younger brothers,” said Allen, a recipient of the Leading the Way First Generation Scholarship.
Allen has two brothers—ages 8 and 14— and while being a role model for them suits her fine, she isn’t hesitant about backing that up with some sisterly words of wisdom now and then. She has been particularly emphatic about the importance of getting good grades with the oldest, a ninth-grader.
“He recently told me he wasn’t doing too well in school,” recalled Allen. “I told him that he needed to work on that.”
And sometimes, she is a bit more subtle.
“I was talking to him on the phone and he wasn’t thrilled that I had to hang up, but I made it a point to tell him why,” recalled Allen.
And that was?
“I had to do my homework.”
Allen has the full support of her father to employ any method that will encourage her brothers to follow her on the path to college.
“My father was unable to go to college but he always wanted the best for me. He is proud that I took [my education] a step further.”
A sophomore unified childhood/special education major from Mayfield, N.Y., Allen balances a full course load with plenty of extracurricular activities. She is president of B.A.K.U. (Bearers of Ancient Kultures United), a club that promotes culturally diverse programs and activities on campus and in surrounding communities. She serves on the Intramural Advisory Board and is a member of the dance team and Rotaract, a Rotary-sponsored service club.
Allen’s career goal is to teach in a fluent-Spanish classroom, but you can expect her to keep one eye on her brothers as they follow her lead toward a college degree.