• November 19, 2019

UTPB hosts first-generation celebration - Odessa American: UTPB

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UTPB hosts first-generation celebration

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Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 4:57 pm

University of Texas Permian Basin held a First Generation Student Celebration and Resource Fair this week in the Student Activity Center.

One of the highlights was a group photo of students, faculty, and staff who were the first in their families to attend college, a news release said. The event was held Nov. 6 and Nov. 7, Associate Dean of Students Corey Benson said.

Benson said UTPB wanted to join other colleges and universities nationwide celebrating first-generation college students. The program was started nationally by the Center for First Generation Student Success in partnership with the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

He added that it is celebrated annually on Nov. 8, the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act by late President Lyndon Johnson.

The LBJ Library website said the act is the “major law that governs federal student aid.”

“UTPB was excited about joining other institutions in the celebration of our first-generation students,” Benson said. “Today’s program celebrates the success of those who are the first in their families to … graduate college and provides information about student support services, including financial aid, the student success center, the office of the dean of students and the division of student affairs and leadership,” Benson said.

Many UTPB students are the first in their families to attend college.

In addition to the information, Benson said food, games and prizes were featured. About 100 people had stopped by over the two days as of late Thursday morning.

“I think it’s important for the university to demonstrate its commitment to serving first- generation students and to make them aware of all the resources and support services that exist to support them while they’re here to graduation and beyond,” Benson said.

UTPB junior Everett Ramos said he thought the fair was a great concept because it helps get the word out to first-generation students.

“I think it’s been a great opportunity,” graduate student Diana Balderrama said. “I think it helps to celebrate students for taking that initiative and start building those stepping stones for those that do decide to come on board and take on the opportunity to get an education …”

Odessa, TX

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