NCMC Student Support Services and Upward Bound Celebrate TRiO and First-generation College Students

Tocarra Williams, M.P.A., North Central Missouri College / The Center / July 09, 2020

North Central Missouri College’s (NCMC) Student Support Services (SSS) and Upward Bound (UB) celebrate TRiO, the federal grant that makes both programs possible in February every year. This year, NCMC’s TRiO program in Trenton, Missouri was one of 24 national First-Gen College Celebration Grant winners selected by the Center for First-generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). For this reason, we spent February also celebrating those students whose parents have not earned a four-year degree. First-generation college students face unique challenges when navigating higher education, and while acknowledging barriers is important, recognizing the accomplishments and resilience of First-gen students and alumni is also crucial when serving this population. This year, we celebrated with a First-gen Selfie Contest where SSS and UB students sought out first-gen graduates wearing special pins for selfies to post on social media with the hashtag #ncmcfirstgen. Each post made the SSS and UB students eligible to win prizes.

Our celebration demonstrated the influence and strength of the first-generation college student community.

The First-Gen College Celebration Grant allowed us to hand out first-gen “cell phone swag” and donate books authored by first-gen grads to the NCMC Library. SSS also hosted a cultural presentation and meal with international students from Curaçao—further connecting first-generation college students from across the world! Additionally, the first floor of Geyer Hall included an exhibit of student responses to the prompt, “Why I’m First,” which was on display until mid-March. We also collected donations and made toys for the Green Hills Animal Shelter—helping some of our community’s most vulnerable residents.  

With the support of the First-Gen College Celebration Grant, we shined a brighter light on first-generation college students on NCMC’s campus than ever before! Both on and off campus, folx had conversations about first-gen pins and cell phone pockets that connected first-gen alumni and students. Our celebration demonstrated the influence and strength of the first-generation college student community. We look forward to continuing to celebrate first-gen accomplishments!

For more information about North Central Missouri College's approach, please visit their website here.