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National First-Gen Celebration Week is Nov 9-13
On November 8th, colleges and universities around the country will celebrate National First-Gen College Celebration Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The HEA expanded financial assistance to postsecondary students, thus making higher education more accessible.

You First's past celebrations have included a motivational poster exhibit in the library and a university-wide group photo by the Ram Horns. This year Nov. 8 falls on a Sunday, so we've decided to celebrate all week long beginning Monday, Nov. 9th. See the schedule of events below!

First, But Not Alone: A Ramily United
National First-Gen Week Keynote with Dr. Eve Hudson

Monday, Nov. 9, 4-5pm

Join TRIO SSS to kick off the First-Generation Celebration Week with a special guest keynote by Dr. Eve Hudson. A first-gen and low-income college student herself, Dr. Eve went on to earn her PhD by the age of 28. Her internationally known podcast The First-Gen Lounge was the first of its kind dedicated to highlight the experience of first-gen students. During this keynote, she will share parts of her journey while also uplifting and empowering you while you are in the midst of your own. Advance registration is required. Registration link: http://bit.ly/VCURamilyUnited

You First Tables in the Compass - Pick up Your Swag Bag!
Wednesday, November 11, 11am - 1pm
Thursday, November 12, noon - 3pm

We've got National First-Gen Week goodies for you! Come say hello to fellow first-geners and pick up your swag bag. Goodies include You First logo decals, webcam covers, hand sanitizers, and motivational pens. Come write a message on a You First postcard about what being first-gen means to you and then share your encouragement on social media!

Can't make it in person? Contribute your answers and messages to on the Jam Board!



Join in on Social Media
Sunday, Nov 8th - Friday, Nov. 13th
Use #YouFirstVCU and #CelebrateFirstGen
Check out our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts all week as we celebrate you. Share your own first-gen posts, tag us (@youfirstvcu), and use the hashtags above to be eligible for prizes. If you or someone you know has an encouraging story to share, email us at youfirst@vcu.edu for a feature.


Use the You First Zoom Backgrounds
Download one or all four of our You First Zoom backgrounds and use them in your meetings! Not everyone who is first-gen knows it, so this is your opportunity to let folks know what it means and that there is a whole community at VCU for them. The definition VCU uses is that neither parent or guardian graduated with a four-year degree. Siblings don't count since they're part of the same generation! Refer anyone who has questions or wants to get more involved to youfirst@vcu.edu.
Let's Talk: Post Election
Feeling the tension around the election? Join OMSA and UCS for an intentional processing and discussion space on Thursday, November 5th, from noon - 2pm. Register to attend at linktr.ee/vcuomsa.

                     
Additional Upcoming Events
Procrastination Discussion with Peer Mentors
Thursday, November 5th, noon - 1pm

Join mentors Cindy and Maria on Zoom for a TED Talk and discussion about procrastination. Leave with tips to tackle it! (Passcode is Va0qaw.)

 

Creating Connections and Building Your Network - A Conversation with Black VCU Professionals
Wednesday, November 11th, 4-5pm
Navigating predominantly white spaces, tackling mental health challenges, and transitioning into a professional higher ed world is not new to these VCU professionals. Join our panel of esteemed VCU professionals in a conversation about their journey, establishing and/or expanding your campus connections, building your network for personal and/or professional development, and learning how to engage with faculty/staff/professionals who look like you!  on Zoom! Register Here.  
              
Virtual Global Learning Opportunities
Tuesday, November 17th at 2 PM

Join VCU Education Abroad on Tuesday, November 17th at 2 pm to learn more about Virtual Study and Internship opportunities! Join the information session via Zoom.  
While there is no substitute for an in-country experience, virtual internships and classes offer a way to explore another culture, get unique internship experience, take courses not offered at VCU and gain invaluable intercultural, professional and academic skills. Virtual programs are accessible and can be quite affordable, allowing students to explore globally from the comfort of their homes. You can add a virtual internship or course(s) to what you're already planning to take at VCU. If you can't make it to the info session but want to learn more about virtual programs - e-mail: abroad@vcu.edu to connect with an Education Abroad Adviser!

Tales From Abroad: Study Abroad Returnee Student Panel
Wednesday, November 18th at 1 PM

Join VCU Education Abroad on Tuesday, November 18th at 1 PM via Zoom for a virtual panel discussion with study abroad returnees as they share their experiences choosing and funding their programs, living abroad, and the challenges and rewards of their study abroad journey. If you can't make it to the session but want to connect with a VCU study abroad returnee, email: abroad@vcu.edu 
You First Study Sessions
The You First Peer Mentors will be hosting study sessions both online and in person in the coming weeks. Studying doesn't have to be isolating. Stay tuned for more information!
 
Need to Stay on Campus For Winter Break?
We know many of you may want to stay on campus for various reasons this winter. If this applies to you, fill out the following form that best fits your situation if you haven't already:

Residents of first-year halls
https://orange.hosting.lsoft.com/list/ov8ia944/201022AP/8ynxfwdpau6s.vib?id=0a6tgov8ia944c4

Residents of apartment halls
https://orange.hosting.lsoft.com/list/ov8ia944/201022AQ/32qn0o2s79d8.vib?id=0d7a0ov8ia944c5
Contact Us
As always, don't hesitate to reach out to us with any question, big or small. You can email youfirst@vcu.edu to schedule an appointment, drop into our virtual meeting hours on Mondays from 2-3:30, or call 804-827-4586.
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