Jun 10, 2022

NGPF Podcast: Jaime Barajas helps first gen students navigate the college-going process

Want to learn more about the challenges facing first gen students as they make decisions about higher education? 

As a Senior College Success Manager at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (SF Bay Area), Jaime Barajas uses his own personal experiences to help his clients navigate the college-going process. Listen to this podcast to learn more about Jaime's approach, how he uses NGPF's Payback game and how he helps students overcome the myriad hurdles in their path. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~2:13 Introduction
  • 2:13~7:08 Personal experience applying and choosing a school as a first generation college student
  • 7:08~14:34 How personal experience informs Jaime’s current work 
  • 14:34~21:35 Thinking about college as an investment
  • 21:35~27:15 Setting up students for success
  • 27:15~27:33 A word from NGPF
  • 27:33~34:52 How the Summer Academy is set up
  • 34:52~40:52 Playing Time for Payback with seniors
  • 40:52~42:45 Major lessons to teach students about going to college
  • 42:45~47:17 The hidden challenges of college
  • 47:17~50:08 The adjustment to change
  • 50:08~53:04 Common struggles of first-generation students
  • 53:04~54:36 Conclusion



  • “I identify as a Queer Chicano [so I consider] how that then shifts our ways of thinking and the ways in which we include students and make them feel welcome and give them access to the steps to adulthood.”


Check out NGPF's Paying for College Unit page for more lessons and activities on this important topic.


 Mark Salisbury has made it his mission to increase transparency when it comes to college costs. Hear from Mark on this episode of the NGPF Podcast

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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