First-Generation Student from Harlem Leads College Prep Course for Underprivileged High School Students
By Shelley Preston

As the son of first-generation immigrants from Mali living in Harlem, New York, the idea of attending an Ivy League college often felt out of reach for Lassan Bagayoko. But a 2017 scholarship to attend Cornell’s Precollege Summer Program for high school students not only helped Bagayoko prepare for the rigorous university, it also inspired him to start his own initiative to help other first-generation students get into the colleges of their dreams.

Now a senior majoring in government and minoring in education, inequality studies and law and society, Bagayoko was recently awarded $5,000 through Cornell’s Janet McKinley ’74 Family Grant to provide an online college prep program for high school students in underprivileged communities.

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