Celebrating the success of first-generation college students is important in the advancement of their higher education experience. With this in mind, UNM celebrates the accomplishments of its first-generation Lobos at the 4th Annual First Gen Proud Celebration Nov. 9 – 19.
The Council for Opportunity for Education (COE), in partnership with the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, recently announced the continuation of the First-Generation College Celebration. Nov. 8 marks the 55th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA), which has helped millions of first-generation, low-income/under-resourced students persist to degree completion.
The definition of first-generation varies across institutions and programs. Brittany Tabor, director for the UNM-Gallup TRiO Upward Bound program serves on the First Gen Proud Committee said. UNM defines first generation as “students and their siblings that lived in a household where neither parent received a four-year bachelor’s degree.”
As part of the Celebration on Nov. 8, college campuses around the nation will celebrate rallies, panel discussions, listening sessions, and more in recognition of their first-generation students. Across social platforms, institutions can use #CelebrateFirstGen to share their events and join in conversations with colleagues and students. With the 2020 national celebration falling on a Sunday, this presents an excellent opportunity to consider partnerships with Parents and Family Offices, and engage in a weeklong celebration beginning with a kick-off event on Sunday and carrying through Veterans Day; another collaboration opportunity – Student Veterans Services.
Dawn Blue Sky-Hill, chair of the First Gen Proud Committee and Student Support Services – TRIO director said, “I am delighted to join the 2020 national commemoration to celebrate the term first-generation as first written in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). It's important to know the 1965 document articulated the need to uplift first-generation students, low-income to middle-class students, and other students from disadvantaged backgrounds with access to higher education. For me, the First-Generation Celebration symbolizes a continuum of shared experiences and successes by collegiate students, staff, and faculty alike, and celebrating the term first-generation unifies campuses nationwide.”
Several initiatives include a speaker series, a letter-writing campaign, and more. Visit firstgen.unm.edu for a full schedule of activities that are available to the branch and Albuquerque campus communities.
UNM First Gen activities
The Center for First-Generation Student Success and Council for Opportunity in Education are offering a joint virtual First-Generation College Celebration on Nov. 6, Noon - 1:30 p.m. (MT). Registration is Free. To sign up, visit https://naspa.org/events/joint-virtual-first-generation-college-celebration
Mercy Marrujo, a community-led and oriented poet, will hold an interactive workshop on “Finding Poetry in First Gen Life,” on Nov. 16, at 2 – 3 p.m. Join in with Zoom ID 93084523789
Kyle Ethelbah, director of Federal TRIO Programs at the University of Utah, shares “A personal experience of a TRIO student and the transformative power of education” on Nov. 17 at 2 – 3 p.m. Join us on Zoom ID 91611621863
Michelle Lee, Student Success manager at UNM-Gallup presents “First Gen-The value of smaller steps” on Nov. 18, at 2 – 3 p.m. Join us on Zoom ID 95303039434
Dr. Tim Alvarez, president of Otero Junior College, presents “Hope, Happiness, Happenstance, and Self-Authorship: Guiding First-Generation Students” in a faculty series on Nov. 19, 2 – 3 p.m. Join us on Zoom ID: 92124729509
The speaker series will also be streamed on Facebook @ UNMCEP Nov. 16-19 at 2 p.m.
Letter Writing Campaign
First-generation faculty and staff are asked to share their words of encouragement, support, and/or advice to current first-generation Lobos in a letter. We will be relaying messages to students, who can request a letter using this link.
Follow this link to submit a letter/message by the priority deadline of Nov. 10.
Kahoot Trivia Night
Who loves a good trivia night? Join in on Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. for a Kahoot trivia night: The First Generation to College Edition! Test your knowledge and/or learn more about the first generation to college experience during this interactive activity. Zoom ID 95038240213
Display being First Gen Proud
Display a Zoom First Gen Proud background the week of Nov. 16. Wear last year’s t-shirt (if you have one). Take a selfie and share it with us using the hashtag #UNMIAMFIRST.
Visit firstgen.unm.edu for a full list of activities, promotional items, and information.