The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

   Going into the season, Worth knew he was close to breaking the records, and while he made it a goal for the season, he said it wasn’t the whole purpose of the year.
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 I am not ashamed to admit that Katniss Everdeen’s iconic braid is one I spent countless hours trying to perfect in middle school.    The...

SCTV 11/22/23
November 27, 2023

Recognizing first-generation Simpson students

Kennedey Clark
Advisor Monica Lewis and junior Addi Thomas posing in celebration of First-Gen Celebration week.

Being a first-gen student means that one’s parents did not complete a 4-year college or university degree. This applies to many students on campus and across the country.

   FGCC is celebrated annually on Nov. 8 to commemorate the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act created federal financial aid programs to fund students’ educations and made key investments in colleges and universities. Many of the HEA’s programs, particularly federal TRIO programs, seek to promote postsecondary access, retention and completion for today’s limited-income, first-generation college students. 

   Simpson College’s TRIO program went all out to celebrate first-gen students and faculty. Throughout the week, flyers with students’ pictures, advice and common first-gen struggles were showcased in the Kent Campus Center atrium. Additionally, people had the opportunity to sign a banner and write advice on there as well.

   Junior Addi Thomas said, “There are resources on campus for students, and it’s okay to ask for help and to use them.” 

   On Wednesday, SSS-TRIO advisor Monica Lewis and director St   Student Support Services’ TRIO program celebrated its annual First-Generation College Celebration (FGCC) with activities and recognition flyers. In the week leading up to Nov. 8, the FGCC recognized students and faculty who are, or were, first-generation students. 

ephanie Neve tabled in Kent with first-gen merch available for students. Merch included miniature foam fingers, sticky notes, party hats, and pens. A photo booth was also set up to take pictures with the hashtag #CelebrateFirstGen. 

   When asked what her biggest challenge has been, Roxi Ruiz, a first-gen first-year student, said, “Believing that I’m here in college and that I did this all on my own.” 

   Everyone was invited to the Ken Nwadike Jr. Watch Party on Wednesday as a part of the celebration. Popularly known as the “Free Hugs Guy,” Ken is a filmmaker, motivational speaker and peace activist. At the beginning of the semester, he visited and spoke to TRIO students at a kick-off event and left students feeling motivated to inspire change. 

   To end the week, students were invited to a First-Gen Virtual Panel. Virtually, successful first-gen graduates shared their experiences and the journey of how they ascended into senior leadership roles in some of the world’s most recognizable companies.

   Celebration Day was a great event to help deepen the Simpson community’s understanding of the systemic barriers plaguing higher education and the supports that are necessary for students to continue thriving across education, career and life. 

   Student Support Services and TRIO are just a few federal programs in place that focus on helping students navigate college and adult life.

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Kennedey Clark, Staff Reporter

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