A vibrant display of activities, refreshments and t-shirts sporting the phrase “proud to be first-gen” greeted students shuffling through the second floor of MU’s Townsend Hall on Wednesday as part of a “First-Generation Fill-Up” event.
The event, hosted by the MU College of Education & Human Development, was part of First-Generation Celebration Week, an opportunity for the campus community to celebrate first-generation students. Wednesday marked National First-Generation College Celebration Day, a day that honors the signing of the Higher Education Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Nov. 8, 1965.
The First-Generation Fill-Up included a photo wall, breakfast foods and refreshments, button-making, succulent planting and pot decorating for attendees. Students could also write letters to individuals who influenced their educational journey.
Aitriona Peterson-Ramey, inclusion coordinator for the College of Education & Human Development, said the event was an opportunity for students to build relationships and learn more about first-generation resources available on campus.
“First-gen students do have a lot of unique challenges that are not necessarily going to look the same as students who’ve seen someone go through the college process before,” Peterson-Ramey said. “Typically, first-gen students don’t know where they can get resources (and) how to get connected on campus, so that’s really the point of this week.”