MSU takes time to recognize first-generation students

STARKVILLE, Miss (WCBI)- As the fall semester wraps up for college campuses, an organization at Mississippi State is showing support to first-generation students.

TRIO is a support service that offers guidance for navigating higher education. The organization was on campus to show students that they are a home away from home.

Being the first person to attend college out of your family can be tough.

“Financially was the hardest thing. Because financially you can get scholarships for being a legacy. But for me, I had to figure out other ways and find the scholarships on my own,” said Jenna Lyon, a first-generation student.

“To me, it’s just been a journey because I have a language barrier. But also not having the same opportunities as my classmates and peers who are not immigrants who would not understand how bad of a struggle that it’s been to get to where I am now,” said Ivan Araujo, a first-generation student.

That’s why programs like TRIO Student Support Services are so important.

TRIO provides resources to help first-generation students navigate the university experience.

TRIO Director Jalonda Thompson and Coordinator Dell Ivy said they want to make sure first-generation students do not feel alone.

“Also one of the things that we want to make sure of is that students feel a sense of community here at State. That sense of community is even more important for our first-gen students as they are learning how to navigate campus,” said Thompson.

“So, this is one of our first-gen initiatives by having them celebrate this week. By also having them celebrate faculty and staff. Like she said before. And also a load of resources from the TRIO program. And we do one-on-one with the students to see how we can help and benefit them,” said Ivy.

Lyon’s advice for future first-generation students is to not be afraid to ask for help.

“First thing first is to actually get involved with some first-generation clubs. And do not worry because you will find your first-generation clubs and people,” said Lyon.

Mississippi State will be recognizing First generation students with several activities scheduled for this week.

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