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Clemson FIRST celebrates National First-Generation Student Week

FIRST // Provided
President Jim Clements spoke with FIRST students during a Tiger Tips meeting in October.

The Clemson FIRST Generation Success Program is celebrating the national First-Generation Student Week from Monday through Friday by hosting several events for first-generation students to participate in.

Events included a tabling event on Monday at Library Bridge, free T-shirts and Jimmy John’s on Tuesday. These events were followed by a visit from Precious Black with the TRIO Educational Opportunity Center, discussing FAFSA information and scholarships on Wednesday. On Thursday, there will be a First Hangout in the Vickery Hall Auditorium for all members of the program and prospective students to socialize and hang out.

The Clemson FIRST Program, housed in a lounge in Vickery Hall, offers peer-to-peer mentoring and review sessions for all common exams to all first-generation students.

In addition, Clemson FIRST offers social, service and fundraising events in the program and connects students with other first-generation students and faculty.

These connections are built through events like Tiger Tips that take place monthly, where first-generation faculty give advice to students, according to Tyler Young, the President of FIRST and a senior mathematics major.

“FIRST has been my home since freshman year. It has allowed me the opportunity to meet people that share a similar story to me, and therefore, gave me a home on campus,” Young said.

Clemson FIRST has various mentorship opportunities and leadership positions for students to improve their abilities while connecting with other undergraduate students.

“Seeing the active support group for first-generation college students was one of the main reasons why I chose to attend Clemson,” Katelynn Thorne, a senior electrical engineering major, said. “My mentor freshman year helped me navigate college by answering all my questions, such as where to find internships and CI opportunities. I am very thankful for the FIRST Program and decided to give back to it my senior year by becoming a mentor.”

Recently, Clemson FIRST hosted President Jim Clements for a Tiger Tips event, where he gave advice to students and told his story of being a first generation student.

“As a first generation college graduate, I understand and can relate to the unique experiences of our first generation students. My parents never set foot on a college campus and my grandparents didn’t graduate from high school, but they encouraged me and my three older siblings to prioritize education,” Clements said in an interview with Clemson News.

With over 250 members, Clemson FIRST is open to any first-generation Clemson student and continues to build a larger community every year. With any further questions, reach out to [email protected] and check out their Instagram account for updates by visiting @clemsonfirst.

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Emma Vick
Emma Vick, Asst. News Editor
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