National First Generation Week kicks off

Biola celebrates FirstGen students through this week’s festivities.

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Haven Luper-Jasso//CHIMES

Cinema and media arts major Katherine Padilla puts a sticky note on a wooden board display.

Dalet Valles, News Editor

FirstGen week kicked off on Nov. 8 with the slogan “Sky is the Limit.” Biola is home to 770 first-generation students, which totals 25% of the undergraduate population. Hosted by Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development, also known as SEID, all these students were welcomed to celebrate beginning Monday to Thursday, Nov. 10. Faculty and staff were also celebrated during this time. 

SEID at Biola hosts and celebrates FirstGen Week to honor the triumphs of our FirstGen students, staff and faculty who pursued a four-year undergraduate degree in the United States,” said Carla Logie, assistant director of SEID and the first-gen program. 

FIRST-GEN FESTIVITIES

Throughout the week, SEID honored and celebrated first-generation students, staff and faculty. The week started with donuts and a “Sky is the Limit” display. The wooden board display, which was initially placed outside of Sutherland Auditorium before moving to the Mosaic Cultural Center for the rest of the week, filled up with messages written by first-generation people. 

“We use this week to highlight and cheer on the resilient, trail-blazing and powerful journeys of the FirstGen community,” Logie said. “The goals of our events are to foster [the] FirstGen community across campus, increase awareness of first-generation identity on our campus and provide tools for college success as a FirstGen student.”

The week also included a National FirstGen Day Celebration, Financial Aid and Budgeting 101, FirstGen Commuter Days, Wellness Break with the Biola Counseling Center and a FirstGen Block Party.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

This year’s slogan, “Sky is the Limit,” is a well-known phrase which encourages and acknowledges the FirstGen community.

“The Sky is the Limit is a call to remember what it was like to dream as a child and keep dreaming for your future,” Logie said. 

The process to create this week of events pushed the FirstGen team to reach for the sky. Despite the events being spread out to only a week, the team curated the celebrations to properly celebrate the FirstGen community. 

“It takes weeks to plan events for this week, from initial brainstorming and praying for a theme and events that would be what the Biola FirstGen community needs to coordinating with partners on events, designing the ads, communicating events, catering, event set up, and so much more,” Logie said. 

The planning process included FirstGen students as well. Program Coordinator and junior psychology major Cienna Lopez and Peer Mentor Coordinator and junior communication sciences and disorders major Danielle Ty coordinated with Logie to make the events possible. 

RESOURCES AND JOINING FIRST-GEN

Logie encouraged the FirstGen community to spend time in the Mosaic Cultural Center, which houses SEID. Students can use the full kitchen and space to study or hang out. On Nov. 15, there will be a FirstGen Alumni Career Panel in the Mosaic Cultural Center where alumni will share stories about their first job. FirstGen also offers scholarship opportunities — the TELACU Scholarship, which opens in December, grants FirstGen students $3,000. 

The FirstGen Program is open to all FirstGen students. Students will need to attend FirstGen’s monthly events, read the FirstGen emails and follow the FirstGen Instagram to become part of the FirstGen program. 

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