TRiO First-Generation Celebration


Delinah Rosario, Opinions Editor

TRiO and Outreach programs held their fifth annual first-generation college celebration. It’s a national celebration. A first-generation college student is a student whose parents or legal guardians do not have a Bachelor’s Degree. The office of TRiO and Outreach programs spearhead its organization every year and this year was bigger than every other year in the past, which is really exciting. There was an event held on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, that included tabling by campus partners, food, music, and engaging opportunities. There is also a “Let’s Talk First” virtual panel held on Nov. 16, 2021. The panel will be on the first-generation college student experience.

TRiO expected around 250 students and was shocked to have over 350 students check-in and 85 pre-college students (from visiting families, high schoolers on college tour, and staff), join the event. They collaborated with more than ten different offices and departments, including the Multicultural and Leadership Development Program and the Center for Academic Achievement, across campus to ensure that students, especially first-generation college students, are connected to campus resources.

“TRiO has supported me by just being a second family,” FGCU sophomore Karla Trejo said. “College as a first-generation student could be a really challenging experience if you don’t know the resources, like who to reach out to.”

TRiO provides opportunities for students to advance their academic and personal growth, gain financial responsibility and understand college requirements. The staff wants students to succeed and do well while they are at FGCU and be well equipped for the future. The events put in place are to support first-generation students and all that they encounter. They want to highlight the skills and passions of their students.

“The strengths and characteristics of first-generation college students are that they are resilient, resourceful, determined, and persistent,” TRiO STEM coordinator Alex Pipitone said. “All of these characteristics are what we see in our TRiO students, as well as students across campus.”

TRiO staff is encouraging students to apply. They are still supporting students taking applications. If any students are first-generation college students or come from limited-income families or even have a documented disability, they encourage you to apply. The TRiO application can be found on their website. They want to support students the best they can and help them get accustomed to life in college as well as assist them in whatever they may need. Especially in these trying times.

“Being a first-generation student is really fun and it’s a really good experience because being at college is really different than being at high school,” Trejo said.