First-Gen Week

First Generation. What does this mean? This identity piece holds many different meanings to people, some of which are bravery, courage, resilience, and adversity.

To provide a simple definition and to root the collective experience of many, first-generation describes a college student from a family whose older members have not completed a Bachelor’s degree. 

First-generation students walk on to campus with passion, purpose and perseverance as they are paving a path for themselves and their families. At Florida State University, about 25% of undergraduate students identify as first-generation. Making connections and building a strong and supportive community is essential to navigating the college journey for first-generation students. It is important that these students see themselves represented in different spaces and know that they are not alone in the journey, but in contrast, they share many same life experiences. 

November 8, 2021 is National First-Generation College Celebration. The Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) is celebrating and bringing awareness to what it means to be first-generation students all week long through November 12. CARE is hosting a series of workshops and panels throughout the week to highlight the many resources available to students at FSU. Additionally, a community service project will be taking place all week long which encourages faculty, staff, students to donate items or contribute to the creation of care packages for the Kearney Center. The following items needed are: reusable water bottles, toilet paper, pens and pencils, laundry detergent, general cleaning supplies, luggage and string backpacks, or blankets. The week will end with a celebration where all first-generation students, faculty and staff can come together in fellowship on Landis with free food, music and giveaways. 

CARE offers many opportunities to assist first-generation students throughout their journey at FSU. FGEN Nole Network includes peer-to-peer outreach, faculty and staff engagement, advocacy, and community. The peer-to-peer outreach includes the O-team, a group of undergraduate students who are committed to supporting first-generation students to navigate their experience at FSU. O-Team leaders serve as an information hub, a connection to experiences, and a friendly Nole that understands the student experience. Faculty and staff from a variety of academic colleges provide advocacy and support for students by building a community within their college and hosting small group engagements throughout the semester. Advocacy and community are facilitated through social engagements that are hosted by first-generation students. 

To learn more information about First-Gen Week, check out this link. Take a sneak peek of all that is happening during First-Gen Week at FSU! #CelebrateYou

Written by Yanira Campos

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