First Generation Films “Go College!” National Initiative
Ground-breaking campaign aims to shrink the higher education gap for first generation students, minorities, and underserved youth
LOS ANGELES, March 26, 2014 –First Generation Films and Wells Fargo Education Financial Services kick-off the “Go College!” tour, a national education initiative with screenings of the award-winning documentary First Generation at six Los Angeles Unified School District high schools and culminating with a screening in Washington, DC.
Go College! Los Angeles is the first of 70 film screenings and a 10-city tour that will bring together filmmakers, educators, subject matter experts, civic and community leaders for a panel discussions at all screenings to encourage a national conversation on how students and parents can make attending college a reality.
Filmed over the course of three years, the First Generation documentary is narrated by two-time Golden Globe Award nominee Blair Underwood and explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low income students. The documentary profiles the journey of four students attempting to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to their communities as they pursue their college dreams.
“A college education can change not just a life, but the prospects of an entire community,” said John Rasmussen, head of Wells Fargo’s Education Financial Services. “Go College! begins in Los Angeles, one of the most influential and diverse school districts and the hub of American cinema to unite key influencers and start a national dialogue on how we can shrink the higher education gap. By working with First Generation Films to create the Go College! initiative, we hope to plant seeds of hope in America’s first generation students and make the prospects of achieving higher education a reality.”
The Go College! tour will feature free screenings for students and educators at local high schools and other locations in select cities. At each screening attendees will have the opportunity to engage the filmmaking team of Adam and Jaye Fenderson, cast members, Wells Fargo private student lending experts and local educational leaders in a dialogue focused on how to make attending college a reality. Students and parents will be encouraged to submit education-related questions before and after the events using the hashtags #GoCollege and #WFCollegeTour on Twitter. Free information packets on college application processes, scholarship opportunities, tips to estimate college costs, and how to capitalize on various funding sources to pay for college will be provided at all screenings.
“Our goal in making the film was to help high school students learn from their peers about the college admissions process,” said co-director Jaye Fenderson, a former senior admissions officer at Columbia University and the author of Seventeen’s Guide To Getting Into College. “But it evolved to become so much more than that – an emotional experience and message that resonated with underserved communities.”
“By bringing the film directly to students and speaking with their parents, we want to remove any perceived and actual barriers to college access,” said co-director Adam Fenderson.
Go College! will tour Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland and Washington DC in Spring 2014. In Fall 2014, the campaign will visit the cities of Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Houston, and Dallas. For tour information, please visit www.FirstGenerationFilm.com/gocollege.
“After more than 40 years in the private student lending marketplace, Wells Fargo knows the importance of higher education,” said Rasmussen. “Next to purchasing a home, financing a college education is one of the most important life events for our customers. First Generation is a truly inspiring film and we hope that the film and GoCollege! helps students and their families achieve their goals of obtaining a higher education.”
About First Generation
Filmed over the course of three years and featuring some of our nation’s top educational experts (Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation; J.B. Schramm, College Summit; Dr. Bill Tierney, University of Southern California), First Generation is a 95-minute documentary that explores the problem of college access faced by first generation and low-income students and how their success has major implications for the future of our nation. For more information about the film visit www.firstgenerationfilm.com
About Wells Fargo Education Financial Services
Wells Fargo Education Financial Services has been in the student lending business since 1968 and currently serves more than 1.9 million student, parent and family customers in all 50 states. We provide private student loans directly to consumers, through the Internet and at more than 6,000 Wells Fargo banking stores to help customers finance their education. Wells Fargo Education Financial Services also provides customers with tools to help them succeed financially while in school and prepare them for when they finish college. Through the Wells Fargo Foundation, we partner with nonprofit organizations and stakeholders to strengthen our goal of providing high quality assistance to those individuals who are working to achieve their educational dreams. Learn more about Wells Fargo Education Financial Services.