Eric Hastings

Age: 24
Home: Laurel, Delaware
Education: 2010 Laurel High School graduate
2014 University of Delaware graduate with a bachelor’s in criminal justice

Eric works as the Athletic & Teen Director at the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club in Seaford.

For first-generation college graduate Eric Hastings, going to the University of Delaware was a family affair.  From the time he was in elementary school, Lee and Theresa saw that their oldest son was a go-getter, always taking that extra step to excel. He was college bound, but without having the college experience themselves, they had a bit of a learning curve ahead. Regardless, they dove in to the FAFSA; they tackled the college and scholarship applications; they studied the different schools and their programs. They created a schedule, which they stuck to religiously, to methodically complete each step on time. That tenacity got Eric accepted into the University of Delaware and now happily employed, degree in hand.

Eric believes it’s important for young people to better themselves, not just for the individual but for society. “We’ll be in charge soon and it’s important for us to be educated about many things.”

“I think it’s really important for first-generation college students to understand the financial liability that will be put upon them when they leave school.”

Lee & Theresa Hastings are the proud parents of two boys who have attended college.

Lee, a bulk driver, and Theresa, a paraeducator, discuss the challenges faced by first-generation parents, including meeting the many deadlines involved in college preparations. In addition to recommending that parents establish schedules to stay organized, they advise others to be prepared to face unexpected fees for things like library usage or lab courses.

The Hastings helped their younger son Kyle apply for and attend college. They are happy for their children and proud of what they have accomplished.  Lee says he can’t move up in his job without college education, so he feels his sons will have better lives.

“You want to start setting money aside now for all those little things that you just don’t know about.”

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