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Welcome to the You First Newsletter. Here you'll find periodic updates on first-gen programs, opportunities, and more. It's not easy these days to feel as connected, so we hope you will check out what's listed and join us! 
Introducing the "New" You First Newsletter Team

The You First Newsletter has a new look this fall and eight new team members. The following students will be contributing content such as scholarship information, volunteer opportunities, advice and tips, upcoming events, and more. Look out for their pieces in upcoming issues.
  • Tiffany Liu - Volunteer Opportunities
  • Yeleni Lopez - Calendar of Events
  • Kayla Moore - Scholarship Opportunities
  • Maria Ribera Sites - Advice and Tips
  • Sharmeen Sattar - Student Profiles
  • Joshua Staples - First-gen Opportunities
  • Jenely Villegas - Student Profiles
  • Ashley Williams - Advice and Tips
If you have any requests for this team to cover, email youfirst@vcu.edu.
You First 2020-2021 Speaker Series

We've been thrilled to see you all at the weekly You First Speaker Series, where first-gen faculty and staff are discussing topics close to their hearts. So far, Denisha Scott (Altria Scholars) has talked about decoding college language and Dr. Kim Case (Faculty Success) and Benita Regusters (Campus Learning Center) have provided tools to take charge of online classes. We are recording the sessions, so if they happen to be scheduled during your busy times, you'll still be able to watch them. If you missed the info session on what's going on this semester, that video is available, too. Here's a list of upcoming sessions. Click on the links to register! For the full list, visit https://youfirst.vcu.edu/calendar/
Fall Semester Support
Peer Mentoring
 
Our army of peer mentors are busy getting to know first-year students and helping them get connected to the VCU community. If you have a You First mentor, send us a pic of you hanging out! If you don't have a mentor and are feeling a bit disconnected, fill out this form to be paired: https://bit.ly/YouFirstMenteeSurvey2020. All of the mentors are first-gen and love meeting new people. Read about them at https://youfirst.vcu.edu/resources/mentors/
Virtual Drop-in Hours

Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9am-4:30pm, but we understand quite a few of you are attending remotely this semester. So Dr. Bambacus has virtual "drop-in" hours on Mondays from 2-3:30pm! "Pop in" to say hello even if you don't have a question. She loves getting to know the You First students, so you can use this as a low-stakes way to begin making connections at VCU. Zoom link: https://vcu.zoom.us/j/91647520961

Virtual Support Groups

The University Counseling Center is offering the following online support groups this semester. Groups are a great way to hear from others who may be going through the same experiences as you are. For more information on counseling services, visit https://counseling.vcu.edu/

From their website:
Select the group you'd like to join below and complete the interest form.

The group leader will contact you with guidance for next steps to get started with the group. You do NOT have to be an enrolled client at UCS to participate in these support groups.

COVID-19 Support Group (open to all students, a place to connect and share experiences about the impact of COVID-19 on academic, emotional, physical, and mental well-being) - every Wednesday, 4 - 5 p.m.

Rainbow Group (for LGBTQIA+ students) - every Friday, 3 - 4 p.m.

Black Voices: A Supportive Space for Black Students - every Wednesday, 3 - 4 p.m.

International Student Discussion Hour - every Friday, 3 - 4 p.m.

Asian Voices (for students who identify within the wide spectrum of Asian/Asian American backgrounds, including East Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, etc.) - every Friday, Noon - 1 p.m.

COVID-19 Support Group for Health Professional Students - every Wednesday, 4 - 5 p.m.

COVID-19 Support Group for Students with Chronic Health Conditions - every Thursday, 4 - 5 p.m.

Questions about these support groups? Give us a call at 804-828-6200 or email us at uccounseling@vcu.edu.

Advice and Tips
Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Regain control and motivation by assigning each item to a quadrant in the priority matrix. If something is urgent and important, do it now. If it's not urgent and not important, you may be able to cross it off the list without even doing it!
Eisenhower Matrix: How to Prioritise and Master Productivity | TechTello
You First at VCU Student Org
The mission of the student org You First at VCU is to create an atmosphere for students to bond, learn from each other, and advance themselves both personally and professionally. If you're not already a member, you can join at https://vcu.campus groups.com/youfirstatvcu/club_signup.
 
Next up: First Tuesdays with You First - Escape Room! 
Join the student org on October 6th at 6:00PM in a fall themed escape room. Come have fun and form connections with other first gen students! Sign up in Ramsconnect at http://cglink.me/r837259.

Join the E-Board!
From Patrice Branch, president: We are looking to fill the open You First at VCU 2020-2021 executive board.  Anyone is welcome to serve on the executive board no matter your previous experiences. Application due by October 2nd: https://forms.gle/2Nrq5C73LBKBPTvB9

OPEN POSITIONS 
Awards & Recognition Welcoming Chair

Event Planning Chairs

Secretary 

Volunteer Chair 

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youfirst@vcu.edu

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