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Welcome to the You First Newsletter! Look for this twice monthly for updates on activities, events, opportunities, and all things first-gen. If you'd like to get better connected, email and we'll help you get started. 
We Have Zoom Backgrounds!
Download your favorite Zoom background to add to your collection. Be sure to use it the week of November 9th when we honor National First-Generation College Celebration Day/Week! You can click on the image you want to download or visit and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Upcoming Activities and Events
First-Gen and the 2020 Upheaval: Prioritizing Our Mental Health
Thursday, Oct. 22, 1-1:50pm
Myriam Kadeba, PhD, will discuss the reasons and ways to make your mental health a priority this year. She'll also talk about how you can find your motivation again and share her own experiences as a first-gen graduate. Register for this session at

Mural Hunters!
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 11am - 1pm
Join mentors Dar, Bryan, and Ashawnda in a hunt for the area's best murals. Richmond is full of history and art that is represented through the murals across RVA. The goal of this event is to hang out with each other and find at least 10 different murals in the VCU/Richmond area through Google Maps.
Join us at!

Stop It! You're Not Actually an Imposter
Thursday, Oct. 29, 12:30-1:30pm

Many first-gen students sometimes feel like double-dealing tricksters, wondering, “Do I really belong here?” We’re talking about smart people who are not in fact, lying, cheating, snake oil-hustling charlatans. So why do so many first-geners have impostery beliefs? In this workshop, Sharon Zumbrunn, PhD, will explore how higher ed is the perfect ecosystem for breeding imposter syndrome dragons and offer strategies for slaying your own personal imposter dragon. Register for this session at

National First-Generation College Celebration Week
Monday, Nov. 9 - Friday, Nov. 13
Did you know that November 8th is National First-Generation College Celebration Day? Last year, we celebrated by wearing our You First t-shirts and gathering at the ram horns for a large group picture. Faculty, staff, and student from across campus joined in on the occasion! Because Nov. 8th falls on a Sunday this year, and because 2020 is, well, 2020, we're celebrating all week! Stay tuned for upcoming information on speakers, tabling events, new You First swag, and more. And be sure to download your favorite Zoom background

Did You Miss It?
If you missed one of our You First Presents talks so far, we got you--we're recording most of them. Here are the ones that have been closed captioned for publication. If there's one you don't see here and want to watch (e.g., How to Be Successful in Online Classes, Making the Most of Your Academic Advising Appointments), email and we'll send it to you when it's ready!
Read Yessica's "I'm First" Blog

Since Fall 2018, Yessica Flores, a senior and psychology major, has been blogging for the I'm First website, which is a national resource for current first-gen college students as well as college-bound students. In addition to blogs from students from all over the country, "I'm First" hosts videos and other college advice. In her blog, Yessica has written on topics ranging from dealing with procrastination and managing time to finding emergency housing. Look for her posts this semester! As she approaches her December graduation, she'll be discussing how COVID has challenged--but not destroyed--her networking methods, and she'll be reflecting on her college experience and how it's changed her (or, has it?).
Volunteering Opportunities
If you're considering donating your time and your expertise--or hoping to gain expertise and build your resume--then check out this extensive list of opportunities that You First peer mentor and newsletter contributor Tiffany Liu has put together for you. She adds more all the time, so be sure to check back often. If you know of something you'd like her to add, email Thanks, Tiffany!
When we know about various opportunities, we'll post them here for you!

Closing on Wednesday:

7x24 Central Virginia Scholarship: 7×24 Exchange International is a not-for-profit organization that provides an educational forum focusing on challenges faced by mission critical industry professionals. Members are as diverse as the industry itself and include firms within industries such as aerospace, energy, financial services, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, media, technology, and more. 7×24 Exchange International is committed to addressing the challenges of energy efficiency and sustainability. The 7×24 Central Virginia Scholarship is for students interested in digital technologies, equipment and systems, data centers, and associated service and support activities. For more details, visit
Winter Sessions Registration Begins October 27th
This year, we're offering two winter sessions: Intersession (two weeks) and J-Term (three weeks)! Both are online and begin on December 28th. Intersession classes end on January 9th and J-Term classes end on January 15th. To view the schedule in eservices, go to Student > Registration > Registration > Browse Classes > Spring 2021 > Advanced Search. Click inside the "Attribute" search box and choose "Intersession" and/or "J-Term," and then click "Search." 

While registration begins on October 27th, online registration follows the Spring 2021 advance registration dates. See the Winter Sessions registration site for details on how to register before your spring date. Questions? Email
Important Dates
October 23: Midterm grades due
October 27: Spring semester advance registration begins
November 3: University closed (Election Day)

Be sure to make your appointment with your advisor to discuss spring registration!
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