SAN FRANCISCO — June 23, 2014
Since the launch of the “Go College!” national education initiative on March 24, 2014, Wells Fargo Education Financial Services and First Generation Films have reached an audience of 10,000 with local screenings of the award-winning documentary First Generation and more than 1,000,000 people across social media channels using the #GoCollege and #WFCollegeTour hashtags.
The Go College! initiative was developed to encourage a national conversation on how students and parents can make attending college a reality. Go College! has visited the cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Oakland, and Washington D.C. as part of a 10-city tour that presents film screenings of First Generation to students at high schools and also brings together filmmakers, educators, subject matter experts, civic and community leaders.
“It’s remarkable to know that this film is resonating with thousands of high school students across the country representing every cross-section of American culture and socio-economic background,” said John Rasmussen, head of Wells Fargo’s Education Financial Services. “There is an emotional connection that students, parents, educators, and civic leaders who participate in Go College! experience because it is such a passionate subject.”
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.
“I hope that students see the film and learn from my mistakes,” said Cecilia Lopez, First Generation cast member. “Many first generation students remain on the fence about attending college because they find themselves going through the process alone, and Go College! is a reminder that they are not alone and that there are resources available to help them learn the process, build a strategy and finance their higher education goals.”
The Go College! tour features free screenings for students and educators at local high schools and other locations in select cities. At each screening attendees have the opportunity to engage the filmmaking team of Adam and Jaye Fenderson, cast members, Wells Fargo private student lending specialists and local educational leaders in a dialogue focused on how to make attending college a reality. 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 are provided at all screenings.
“We want students to relate to the students that they see in the film and see their struggles and their successes and learn from their failures,” said co-director Adam Fenderson. “By having a film cast member attend the high school and community screening, we’re positioning that powerful testimony and real-world experience right in front of these first generation students.”
“People talk about our film as a pep rally to get kids excited about going to college,” 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 has evolved to become so much more than that – an emotional experience and message that resonates with underserved communities.”
Go College! will visit the cities of Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Houston, and Dallas in the fall. For tour information, please visit www.FirstGenerationFilm.com/gocollege.
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.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives and stories are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com and at wellsfargo.com/stories.