A few weeks ago, we hosted our Annual "Family Weekend" on campus and new faces young and "experienced" were being seen on the yard. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and even family pets were learning about the college campus their student was now calling home. As families were registering for the different activities planned for the weekend, I was nervously excited about one event in particular. The First Generation College Student Meet and Greet.
You see. This wasn't the first year this event has been offered. Actually last year was the first year and NO ONE showed up. You might say I was a little sad last year when it happened, but that sadness turned into determination each day forward when talking with our firstgen students. The need to connect families was still there and it wasn't going away. I knew we needed to try again next year and try we did. This time, my students were involved and the university was more involved too.
Fast forward to this year, we had mothers, fathers, aunts, and siblings attend our Family Weekend FirstGen meet and greet. We talked about the FirstGen initiatives on campus and our three year journey of providing support to all our students. Families asked great questions and their students provided great answers. Opportunities for story telling and realization (one sibling discovered she was firstgen too) filled the room. It was such an inspirational and moving day. Parents had a chance to meet other parents who were experiencing the same feelings they were feeling all along and had someone they could connect with throughout their student's college journey.
All in all it was a great event. I'm so excited to see where the initiatives go from here as it started a great relationship with families and our university. I hope this encourages you to do the same for you students and their families on campus! Keep the conversation going on Twitter and let me know your thoughts!