Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Cody Stewart (2014)

My First Generation Story

Growing up, for me, was much different than it was for many other students. My mother took her life when I was only three weeks old, leaving me in my father’s care. He was incarcerated, which led to a very unstable lifestyle, bouncing from home to home, until I was in about second grade and began living with my grandmother.

From that point forward, my father was in and out of my life, depending on his confrontations with the law. However, my grandmother provided me with a stable home. Conditions were much better with her, but she was on her own and working as a waitress at three or more restaurants at one time to support us. In my early years, I did not get to spend much time with her because of her work schedule.

With all of this going on, I found my life to be very hectic until I was near the end of my elementary career. In fifth grade, I started to take a great deal of interest and pride in my academics and transitioned from an average student to one of the top of my class.

By the time I was a senior in high school, I had a 4.0 plus grade point average, and as one of my teachers said, I “ran over half of the school.” I was class president two years in a row, I was the chief editor of the yearbook several years in a row, I was president of the Future Business Leaders of America, and I was vice president of Health Careers Club. I also walked away with 22 of the 40 awards given out at our Award’s Night for my graduating class.

As to be expected, with all of my success, I had great goals, however they were nowhere within reach, or at least that is what I thought. I wanted to become a doctor, however, I did not know how to even start that goal. I joined the Upward Bound-McNair Scholars program at IUP that helped me to find out that college was something that I could afford, even though my family could not finance it. The mentors in the program also believed in me and told me that I had what it took to become a doctor. Now I am on my way there, also thanks to scholarships through IUP.

About the Student

Cody Stewart

Cody J. Stewart, from Indiana, PA, is a first generation student from a low-income family, majoring in Biology on the Premedical Track at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a dedicated student with a passion for living things and helping them survive. Cody worked over four jobs last year to help fund his educational expenses, while keeping up with all of his class work.

Student Stats

Name: Cody Stewart (2014)
Age: 19
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Biology (Pre-med)
Favorite Course: All of them!
Dream Job: Medical administrator of an accredited hospital, while treating patients there

About the School

Indiana University of Pennsylvania logo

Founded in 1875, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a vibrant, comprehensive, research-based, teaching-focused, student-centered learning community. About 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students are currently enrolled in the accredited and nationally recognized programs at IUP, enjoying traditional and nontraditional classroom experiences, engaging in research and service activities with their faculty mentors, becoming lifelong learners, preparing for rewarding careers and productive lives, and developing leadership skills for effective citizenship.