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FGSO Celebrate Being First Generation Students

It is National First-Generation college students’ celebration day on Nov. 8. The university began celebrating the national day in 2018 and it became a week-long celebration in 2019.  

The vice president of the First-Generation Organization sophomore, Emily Williams said First-Gen Organization is a resource for any student. The organization’s meetings are every other Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in MUC 219.  

“(As) a student organization, we provide a lot of resources for not only first-gen students, anyone can join…specifically for first generation students we answer questions and provide information through workshops that first generation students’ parents may not be able to answer (about) financial aid [and] resumes but also fun workshops like painting tote bags and yoga,” Williams said. 

Alex Arango, a graduate assistant for TRiO Student Support Services, is a first-generation college student and said his parents did not have the answers for many of his questions involving higher education.  

“I was unaware of the resources that were available on campus. There were a lot of career fairs and opportunities for me to find out more about the resources here that helped me be successful during my undergraduate studies,” Arango said. 

The faculty advisor of First-Generation Student Organization, Dallas Doane said the organization will host different events throughout the week.  

This past Monday, there was “number one” cookie decorating in the MUC pit. That evening the First-Gen Organization partnered with the Cultural Wellness Coalition and showed a movie titled Becoming about Michelle Obama at the Coyote Twin Theater.  

Then, on the evening of Nov. 8 there was a speaker in MUC 219, Dzenan Berberovic, who is a first-generation USD alumni and Chief Philanthropy officer at Avera Health.  

Doane said for the upcoming events on Wednesday Nov. 9 and Thursday Nov. 10 the student organization will be partnering with Charlie’s Cupboard. 

 “We’re going to do a tote decorating event, (because) students must bring their own tote (to use at) Charlie’s Cupboard…Thursday when the first-gen students volunteer at Charlie’s Cupboard, students can then bring their totes and be able to bring food back with them,” Doane said.