Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Celebrates First-Gen Day!

Corine Ackerson-Jones M.Ed., / The Center / November 25, 2019

Georgia Southern University FGCC Grant


From Monday, November 4 through Friday November 8, 2019, Georgia Southern University’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS), Armstrong/Liberty Campuses celebrated first-generation faculty, staff and students in honor of National First-Generation College Celebration. Also, in mid-October we announced the selling specially designed, “1st Gen Proud” tee shirts and then on November 1 distributed “Ask Me Why I’m 1st ” buttons to first-generation faculty staff and students.



Georgia Southern University FGCC Grant T-shirt1

Georgia Southern University FGCC Grant T-shirt2

A “Celebrate First Gen” website was created and was linked from the Georgia Southern University’s main page. The “slider” as it appeared on the webpage is below. The above pics were also ads in the student newspaper, the Inkwell.


Georgia Southern University FGCC Grant Website

The slider when clicked on lead to the TRIO SSS created a page dedicated to the First-Generation Celebration 2019.

The webpage included support from the Georgia Southern University President, Dr. Kyle Marrero. He shared a message of support and encouragement to all first-generation college students, faculty and staff, highlighting the importance of First-Generation College Celebration.

We initiated collaborative efforts with our TRIO SSS neighbor on our Statesboro campus by having a student from each of our campuses; Mr. Demetrius Hurst and Ms. Deja Morris share on video what it’s like to be a first generation student and how the resources like TRIO helped them get to where they are now! Here’s the link to watch our TRIO Scholars.

We began our celebration officially on Monday, November 4, 2019 where all the first-gen faculty, staff, and students wore their “Ask Me Why I’m 1st” buttons all week. Those wearing the buttons were encouraged to share their stories and give words of encouragement to students.

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019: TRIO Scholar, Mr. Demetrius Hurst did a Takeover of the Georgia Southern University Instagram. We called it, “A Day in the Life of a First Generation Student.”

On Thursday November 7, 2019: our first-gen faculty, staff, and alum wore gear from their alma mater with their buttons! This included tabling on our Liberty Campus in Hinesville, GA from 12 pm to 2 pm.

We closed out with an action packed day on Friday November 8, 2019! Everyone wore their buttons and “1st Gen Proud” t-shirts. We also had a Resource Fair and Rally from 11 am to 1 pm focusing on different departments that support first-generation student success and subsequent graduation. From Noon until 1:30 pm, Dr. Georgianna L. Martin from the University of Georgia spoke to faculty, staff and students about, “Removing Barriers and Building Bridges to Success for 1st Generation Students.” This program was WebExed to our Liberty and Statesboro campuses and officially dubbed as a professional development opportunity by the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs.

TRIO SSS Armstrong/Liberty has adopted a local elementary school, Largo-Tibet. Eighty-five percent of the students in this school receive free or reduced lunch. Our scholars were committed to volunteer there on #CelebrateFirstGen day! Volunteer activities included: Lunchroom buddies, shelved books in library, recess with kids, art classroom volunteers and read books to students.

Check out the photos from First-Gen Celebration Day taken by the University Photographer Kat Arntzen.

Mr. Demetrius Hurst was also highlighted by Georgia Southern University and you can read more about it here.

We also have Twitter and Instagram moments compiled of some of the great moments captured from that day: