Indiana University Master of Social Work student Breighaunna Coslit was the first in her family to go to college. She grew up in Ingalls, Indiana, in a single-parent household that lived paycheck to paycheck. College was never an option for her parents, but Breighaunna wanted more for her future.
“I had to make a change,” Breighaunna said. “For me, that change started with going to college and making sure I set up that path for myself.”
At 18 years old, Breighaunna began the process of navigating college on her own. She researched colleges, applied for financial aid, and chose a degree path without a parent’s help.
Three years later, she earned her associate’s degree in human services from Ivy Tech Community College and transferred to IU East, where she gained her bachelor’s in social work. She is now working towards her Master of Social Work degree at IUPUI with hopes of becoming a licensed social worker.
Breighaunna decided to pursue social work to meet the needs of individuals who faced the same challenges her family faced. She serves as a supervisor for the Indiana Department of Child Services, and her dream is to move up into policy work and become a director at the agency one day.
Breighaunna offered advice for other first-generation students making the transition to college.
“Take it day by day,” she said. “It’s going to be a stressful start, especially if you don’t have parents who know the process and are supporting you through it. But if you really want to go to college, you just have to do it.”