UNLV First-Generation Students Get Rebel Ready
Jesus Villanueva, Ana Marrero, and Harriet E. Barlow, University of Nevada, Las Vegas / The Center / November 20, 2023
Many individuals at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will tell you that the students at UNLV are truly Rebels - but what does that mean? For many, being a UNLV Rebel means they are the first in their family to go to college! With over half of our undergraduate student population being first-generation, there was a need to help incoming first-year first-generation students transition into college life as they step into a new world. Therefore, we took the initiative to address the shortcomings often associated with being a first-generation student through our 3-day hour-long sessions at Rebel Ready Week.
Rebel Ready Week is a new UNLV initiative that enables the incoming first-year class to become familiarized, empowered, and network before the first week of classes. The Intersection: Academic Multicultural Resource Center at UNLV, led by their first-generation student intern, Jesus Villanueva, developed three sessions to prepare incoming first-generation students.
In the wake of recent research on the rise of mental health disorders and mental health issues college students face, we aimed to help students become comfortable with mental health. The second First-Generation Rebel Ready session was based on the card game UNO. Students set down a card on their turn and responded to the corresponding question. Each question centered around mental health tips and knowledge that would be useful. Some of those questions included, "What is a way to alleviate stress?" or "How do you cope with anxiety?". The students learned the importance of mental health and how it could impact their educational journey.