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

    Wednesday, August 28 from 5-7 p.m. in Nelson Commons
    Kickoff ice cream social
    Start the year off right by making connections and having fun with OHIO First Scholars! 
    Friday, September 6 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Co-Lab, Alden Library 3rd Floor
    Old-school fun and snacks
    Friday, October 5, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. and 2 pm
    Near Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium
    Community service 
  • Thursday, October 15
    Mentor Professional Development: Sonja Adoin
    Friday, November 1 at 12:30-2:30 p.m. in Baker University Center 239
    Figuring out Financial Aid
    Friday, November 8
    National First Gen Day
    Friday, December 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Baker University Center 239
    Finals Week Self-Care Packs
    Monday, December 9, 9-11 a.m., Academic Achievement Center, Alden Library 2nd Floor
    End-of-year Celebration Breakfast
  • Friday, February 7 from 1-2 p.m. in Baker 231
    Alumni and Mentor Panel
    Wednesday, March 4 from 1:30-3:30 pm in Baker University Center, 5th Floor Atrium
    Headshots and CLDC Q&A
    Thursday, March 19 from noon-1 p.m., Baker University Center 230
    Mentor Professional Development Brown Bag
    Friday, April 3 at 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Co-Lab, Alden Library 3rd Floor
    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!