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Jose Chavez ’24

On November 8, colleges and universities celebrate the success of our First-Generation College Students. November 8 was selected as the date for the annual National First-Generation College Celebration to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. HEA provided federal grants and loan programs to help students finance their educations, and ushered in programs to help with the transition and retention of first-generation college students.

Meet Jose Chavez, a freshman and first-generation college student at William Penn.

Class Year


Where do you call home?

Des Moines, Iowa

Area of Study


Why did you choose William Penn?

I heard about William Penn through my GEAR UP Iowa coach. I ultimately came here on an athletic scholarship and it’s not too far from home.

How is William Penn preparing you for success?

The professors and coaches care about your success and future. They’ve helped me stay on track with my grades. I’ve also been able to get involved in programs early on, such as the Summer Leadership Institute. Through getting involved, I’ve been able to meet new people.

What advice would you give to a student starting their first semester at William Penn?

Join a student club or organization, and go to campus events to meet new people. Focus, go to class and join a study group.