This week, Georgia Southern University celebrates the accomplishments of faculty, staff, students and alumni who are among the first to graduate in their families during National First-Generation Celebration week.

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There is a slate of events planned to celebrate the accomplishments of first-generation students and graduates in the campus community including a True Blue Table Talk, networking reception and resource fair, and community service events.

“It is imperative we attentively listen to and thoroughly understand the barriers first-gen students face so that we may better align institution resources and support offerings to meet their needs,” said Corine Ackerson-Jones, TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) director.

The True Blue Table Talk is a panel discussion with a first-gen faculty member, staff member and a student about being first-gen, resources available to support first-gen students at Georgia Southern and outlining what the University can do to better support first-gen this community of students.

The talk, facilitated by Ackerson-Jones, will be streamed via Facebook Live on the University’s Facebook page on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m. and will feature McNair Scholars Program Director Isaac Taylor, College of Education Senior Lecturer Janel Smith, Ed.D., and sophomore political science and international studies major Jazmine Roberts.

Nov. 8 is National First-Generation College Student Day and marks the 56th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act, which helped millions of disadvantaged students become the first members of their families to earn college degrees.

To recognize the day, Georgia Southern’s TRIO Student Support Services on the Armstrong and Liberty campuses, Student Support Services Statesboro Campus and the Alumni Association will host a First-Gen Networking Reception and Resource Fair on Monday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Russell Union Ballroom on the Statesboro Campus, and in the Student Union lobby on the Armstrong Campus.

Faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Those who purchased a “First-Gen Celebration” T-shirt are encouraged to wear them.

For more information on First-Gen Week at Georgia Southern, and for additional event information including Rep Your Alma Mater Day and community service events, click here.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to join the conversation on social media by using #CelebrateFirstGen and #FirstGenEagles.