Fall River Herald News – Bob Karam honored as his family’s first college graduate

By: Chris Loney | Monday, October 1, 2012

(from Fall River Herald News – September 28, 2012)

Fall River — Bob Karam, Fall River native and owner of Karam Financial Group, is the first one in his Fall River family to get a college degree and that status, plus his success in the financial world, won him a First Ones Award from uAspire, an organization providing free financial information to students who want to go to college but aren’t sure if they can afford the trip. Typically, like Karam, they are the first ones in their families to go to college.

Because it’s an immigrant town, Fall River has always been the place where it starts.

You’re from The Flint. You’re from the South End. You’re from the North End. Your parents can’t speak English. Your parents can’t read. Your parents didn’t finish high school. It’s the same story everywhere.

And you’re the one.

The first in your family to have a college diploma.

You’re the first one.

“Their job is to figure out how to help first generation kids go to college,” Karam said Thursday, adding that he often turns down honors, but accepted this one because he knew the organization helped kids whose backgrounds are similar to his own.

Karam, co-owner of radio station WSAR, is involved in residential and commercial land development. He and businessman Michael Biszko operate four properties totaling 80,000 square feet in Fall River’s industrial park.

“I think eventually we can get this organization into this area,” Karam said. “I’ve been talking to them about coming to this area because we have a lot of kids down here who could benefit. I accepted the award because of what they do.”

The organization has helped students secure more than $250 million in financial aid in the last three years alone, maintaining a 75 percent college graduation rate for the students they serve. Through partnerships with high schools, community organizations and local universities, uAspire has helped more than 60,000 students achieve their dream of higher education.

Email Marc Munroe Dion at mdion@heraldnews.com.

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