Devin Archer is a Spring 2014 graduate of USF Sarasota-Manatee. Archer was a First Generation Student who earned a degree in Accounting. As part of this week’s Giving Challenge, USFSM was able to raise a substantial amount of money towards First Generation Student Scholarships. All the money raised by USFSM in the Giving Challenge will be doubled by Florida’s First Generation Matching Grant Program.
What does it mean to you to be the first person in your family to attend college?
I feel honored and privileged to be the first person in my family to attend college. My family has been very supportive and is very proud of me. They have encouraged me along the way and know how important education is because of the opportunities it provides.
How has receiving a scholarship helped in your overall goal of earning a degree?
As a full time student, finances were difficult for me and I had already taken out student loans in order to pay for my education. This helped relieve a lot of that financial burden and allowed me to focus more of my energy on my education and achieving my goals.
Without the scholarship, would you still have attended USF Sarasota-Manatee or college altogether?
I still would have attended because I had already made the commitment to achieve my educational goals. However, this scholarship helped make achieving those goals a reality as I was able to afford to take more classes sooner.
Why did you choose USFSM?
I chose USFSM because of the location, size and their solid academic reputation. I have lived in Sarasota for over 10 years and it was important to me to stay in the area. I feel very fortunate that I am able to receive a great education so close to home.
What would you like to do for a career upon graduation?
My career objective is to become a Certified Public Accountant and I also plan to complete a Master of Business Administration with an accounting concentration at USFSM.
Why did you choose the major that you chose?
With an Accounting degree it opens many doors and provides job opportunities in a number of industries in private and public accounting including tax, audit and government. I enjoy being challenged and I believe that accounting will always be in demand.
What are some of your interests?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, attending local theatre and musical productions, and participating in community events through local organizations.
What is something about you that people wouldn’t normally know about you?
I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad last summer in South America for International Financial and Cost Accounting: Latin America. This trip inspired me and I found that I am very passionate about traveling. I hope to eventually have a career in International Auditing.
How important was it to you and to your family to get the opportunity to attend college?
It was very important for my family that I attend college because they believe that a college education is very important, especially during these economic times. It is very important to me that I attain a marketable degree and achieve success through my professional goals so that I can provide for my family and lead a rewarding career.
What would you say to someone who has never had a member of their family attend college? Any words of advice?
I would advise that they should encourage the members of their family to attend college and that it is truly never too late to go back to school.
What do you think about the Florida First Generation Matching Grant Program? How important is it that people know about it?
I think it is wonderful that the First Generation Matching Grant Program have been made available to Florida public state universities. There are so many people that are deterred from going to college due to financial strains and those who do attend are often overwhelmed with the financial burden of student loans, including myself. It is important for current and future students to be aware of programs such as this one in order to receive much needed financial assistance to achieve their educational goals and to better their current circumstances.
What would you say to the people that have helped support this program?
I would like to say thank you to those who have helped support First Generation Matching Grant Program. With the increase in tuition costs and the current recession, any additional assistance to those of us who are struggling financially is greatly appreciated. This need-based program is a blessing to those of us who receive it. USFSM has supported my commitment to education and I am grateful that I was a recipient of private donations through USFSM and for the First Generation Matching Grant Program who matched those funds dollar for dollar.