The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Feel Welcomed as a First Generation Student

Photo+courtesy+of+First+Gen+Fridays.

Photo courtesy of First Gen Fridays.

First Gen Fridays is a Stanislaus State program that is working to help students and staff with a similar background network with each other and offer help in navigating college. The workshops include guest speakers with a different topic each month. 

First Gen Fridays hopes to benefit students with workshops geared towards specific topics and resources available for everyone. This semester is the first time students are guest speakers for First Gen Friday workshops.

The workshop is held on Zoom, which allows students to join from the comfort of their home. Students are encouraged to type in the chat to share their majors to make connections. The purpose for this is to socialize and take classes together and give students a greater sense of belonging.

Lisset De La Cruz is an academic advisor at Stan State and is the coordinator of First Gen Fridays. She is responsible for sending out email invites and making flyers to promote the program. This workshop series has been going on since 2019, and  after the pandemic, the workshop transferred online.

Lisset states “The pandemic hit in 2020 and I transitioned into doing all online workshops, and that actually catapulted I think my attendance,” De La Cruz explained.

Over the course of three years there has been a turn out of over 500 students.

“I feel like a lot of students ended up going to my First Gen Fridays so they could network,” De La Cruz said.

Marcus Ruddicks, a current first generation student at Stan State pursuing his Master’s degree, served as a guest speaker for a previous session. He shared a slideshow consisting of information about the (SERSCA) SERSCA Program | California State University Stanislaus and (CEGE) support  Assistantships | California State University Stanislaus. These resources could be used to help graduate students pursuing higher education like Masters, or Doctorate. From these resources, one can receive help academically or financially. He explained that he did research last year, but he was unaware of the program but could have used the money if he had knowledge of the program.

“[It’s] good to be aware of SERSCA. It’s a really useful program that isn’t advertised a whole lot,” Ruddicks explained.

Wendy Huesca and Melissa Rubio hosted a workshop on April 8, presenting “Academic Success: Pro Study Tips.”

“I want the students to take away that there is a community to support them because I am also a first generation student,” Huesca said.

Like Ruddick, Huesca believes that it’s important for students to know about these resources early in college, especially since she only joined in her senior year.

“You are getting presented by peers so they can share their experience if you didn’t know about something but your peers learned that,” Rubio added. “They take something personal for themselves that not only helps them in their educational life but their entire personal life.” 

This semester has been the first time “Civic Action” students have been able to host workshops. A Civic Action student is a mentor responsible for freshman students. First generation students are invited through email, and if the person receiving the email is not first generation, they are still welcome to attend.

De La Cruz welcomes students to come by her office or make an appointment for any academic needs. For any students interested in attending First Gen Fridays check out First-Gen Friday’s Program | California State University Stanislaus for more information. 

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Feel Welcomed as a First Generation Student