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First Generation Celebration

Written by on November 8, 2019

Normal – Illinois State University hosted a ‘First Generation Celebration’ last week at Hancock Stadium Club.

The event is hosted by ISU’s TRIO program in University College and is the first time they held a celebration for first generation students.

The event was open to students, members of the community, and alumni to share their stories as first generation students. Yesterday was the first part of the event as a Gala, with panelists and dinner for guests to enjoy.

Coordinator of TRIO in University College Shatoya Black expands on the benefit of the night.

“We are going to have empowerment for first generation students. We want them to take ownership of their narrative,” said Black. “It’s my story, my life, my journey.”

The panel began with guests sharing challenges and successes they have faced as first generation students. Throughout the night guests were able to asks questions to the panelists.

The night ended with poetry from TRIO members of their struggles as first generation students.

Black expands on how the night benefits non first generation students as well.

“We are creating not only awareness and telling our stories but the understanding that comes with people knowing our stories,” said Black.

The celebration continued Friday with more speakers at the Student Bone Center.