First-Generation Student Celebration

Earlier this month, the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) celebrated First-Generation College Students with special events and opportunities.

Mizzou defines first-generation students as those whose parents do not have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. Nearly 14 percent of current CEHD students (graduate and undergraduate) are first-generation students. The US Department of Education says that nationally, 33 percent of college students are the first in their family to attend college.

First-generation college student celebrations encourage colleges, universities, corporations, non-profits, and K-12 schools to celebrate the success of first-generation students, faculty, staff, and alumni. CEHD participated in a variety of ways, one of which was to provide donuts and coffee for students in Townsend Hall Lobby on November 8th. View the photo album here.

first-generation student celebration in Townsend Lobby, student getting a donut with Truman nearby
first-generation student celebration in Townsend Lobby,student posing with #firstgenmizzou polaroid frame next to Truman
first-generation student celebration in Townsend Lobby, noteboard with colorful sticky notes

Students, faculty and staff were encouraged to write their own name or that of a family member who identifies as first-generation and post to a commemoration board. An appreciation writing station included postcards for individuals to record a note of thanks or encouragement. A special guest appearance by Truman made for a photo booth full of school spirit.

HDFS pizza party for first-generation students, faculty and student posing

The Department of Human Development & Family Science hosted a pizza party, giving first-gen students a chance to discuss experiences with faculty and staff.

The journey of a first-generation college student can be very challenging. The College of Education & Human Development advocates for and supports first-generation students, as many deal with a multitude of obstacles that can make obtaining a degree difficult. In order to help students reach their full potential, a scholarship fund was established.

#firstgenmizzou Edwin Davis

Edwin Davis, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis Master’s Student, had this to say about his journey: “As a first-generation student, I want my mother to see that her sacrifices were not in vain. While it has not been the easiest road, I want others to know that they can make it as well.”