Ohio University

First Gen Awareness Programming

"First-Gen? Me Too!" is a first-generation awareness campaign launched on the Athens Campus with four main objectives:

Raise awareness of the large population of first-generation college students at Ohio University

Approximately one-third of our first-year class each year consists of first-generation students (no parent/guardian has earned a bachelor's degree). Unfortunately, most people underestimate the percentage of first-generation students on our campus.

Increase first-generation student sense of belonging

National literature indicates that first-generation students are more likely than continuing generation students to struggle with finding a sense of belonging on campus. The importance of a sense belonging in relation to student persistence is also well documented. An awareness campaign can communicate to first-gen students that they do belong at OHIO.

Increase first-generation student academic self-efficacy

It is well documented within national literature that first-generation students are likely to have lower levels of academic self-efficacy than their continuing generation peers. Our campaign will showcase successful students, faculty and staff who are first-generation to communicate the message, "I did it. You can too!"

Create a community of first-generation students, faculty and staff on our campus

Many first-generation students do not know they are first-generation students. Our awareness campaign can help them learn about and embrace this important piece of their identity. Additionally, it is difficult for first-gen students to pinpoint other first-gen students, faculty and staff on campus without being able to identify them visually. Our campaign will visually highlight the first-generation community in order to bring members together.

'First Gen? Me Too!' Includes

  • Posters for students, faculty and staff —and departments— to display on doors and in meeting and open areas
  • Door cards (similar to Safezone) which allow first-generation faculty and staff to identify themselves as first-gen to students or advocates
  • T-shirts to wear around campus (or wherever). Want a shirt? email lash@ohio.edu
  • OHIO First Scholars Advocates whom students can meet with to get questions answered
  • Email signature graphic for students, faculty, and staff to use in their email programs
  • First Gen Friday events (below)

Email Angela Lash to request First-Gen? Me Too! materials.

What is First-Gen Friday?

As a part of the First Gen? Me Too! awareness campaign, OHIO First Scholars promotes an event called First-Gen Friday on the first Friday of each month as a way to build community among our first-gen students, faculty, and staff. Being a first-generation college student is something worth celebrating and we're happy to plan the party!

How can you participate?

  • Wear your First Gen? Me Too! T-shirt! Don't have one - stop by the Allen Center in Baker 417 to get one!
  • Stop by our First-Gen Friday event! (Schedule is below)
  • Check your OHIO email for opportunities to win prizes!
  • Follow @OhiouFirst on Twitter.

First Gen Friday Event Schedule

    Friday, September 7 at 4:30 pm in Sargent Hall on West Green
    Kickoff cookout! Start the year off right by making connections and having fun with OHIO First Scholars! Join us at Sargent Hall on West Green for food, fun, and community! This event is a partnership between OHIO First Scholars, We Are First, and The Department of Housing and Residence Life.
    Friday, October 5, two sessions (1 and 2 pm) in the Friends of the Library Room on Alden Library's 3rd floor
    Build your First-Gen Network! One third of Athens campus students are first-gen as well as many faculty and staff! Stop by for structured networking sessions that will help you make first-gen campus connections! Don’t know how to network? Don’t worry – we’ll teach you how! Sessions are from 1-1:30 pm and 2-2:30 pm!
    Friday, November 2 at 2-3:30 pm in Baker 235 and 237
    De-stress and Treat yourself! Pop in for a quick guided meditation/relaxation session or to make a relaxing mask or body scrub!
    Friday, December 7 at 7 pm at the Athena Cinema
    We're showing Home Alone! Bring your friends and watch a movie with us!
    Friday, February 1 at 1-2:30 pm in Baker 239
    Let’s get crafty! Bring and old T-shirt and we’ll teach you how to turn it into a cool tote bag! Don’t have an old T shirt? We’ll probably have a few extras on hand, so come anyway!
    Friday, March 1 at 2-3:30 pm in Baker 239
    Tie-Dye Time! While supplies last come tie-dye with us! You know you want to!
    Friday, April 5 at 11 am-12:30 pm in Baker 239
    Pot-a-Plant! This event was so popular last year that we’re doing it again! Celebrate the arrival of spring by potting a plant to brighten your room. This one will go quick, so get there while supplies last!