#GivingTuesday 2022!

Celebrating First Generation Students

First Generation Student Day is November 8th.  Join us in a month-long campaign to raise $4,000 to provide workshops, academic enrichment, and mentoring for the 51 Scholars in our program who will be the first in their family to go to college!

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight the stories here of three of our first gen Alum who exemplify the transformative power of education and honor the generous community of supporters that empowered them to do so.

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Helping Scholars, Exponentially

When a first-generation Scholar completes college, what does that mean?  Individually, a young mind is activated, given the knowledge and credentials to succeed. However, the hidden benefit of supporting those that are the first in their family to graduate college may not be so obvious. How that Scholar then impacts the community around him is profound.

Meet Sean Davis

Sean Davis, a 2016 Graduate of Troy High School and a 518 ElevatED Alum, is the personification of the compounded impacts of a first-generation scholar.

Benefits for Scholars Reach Beyond Graduation

Many programs help students reach a college campus, all sharing the altruistic goal of bringing equity to educational opportunities across any demographic. Once a Scholar gets to college, the need for support does not end. A program that supports Scholars through college graduation and towards a clear path to future employment is powerful. 518 ElevatED provides this continuing support – separating it and our Scholars from the rest.


 Meet Danielle Howard

Danielle is a 2009 graduate of Troy High School whose path to her post-secondary education was not straightforward. Like many first-generation Scholars, the pull from family can be a compelling reason to stay home. After spending her first year at Colgate University, where she studied biology, Danielle found herself back where she started. But through determination and 518 ElevatED’s support, she realized her goals, even if they were a little different than she originally envisioned.

Coming Full Circle

Often those individuals who have benefited from a life-changing opportunity want to give back to others. Mary Permaul, one of 518 ElevatED’s first program participants from Albany High School, is a prime example. 


Meet Mary Permaul

Mary’s family immigrated to the United States just a few years before she started high school. She availed herself of every opportunity offered and forged the way for relationships and values that have continued throughout her life. Now, she’s doing that for others.

As the oldest of five children, Mary’s parents wanted more for her than they had and Mary embraced every opportunity. Mary was introduced to 518 ElevatED in middle school by her guidance counselor who recognized her potential. Once Mary started the program, she embraced every opportunity and easily accepted the direction, assistance, and support she received.