The University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) is proud to host the third annual “I’m the First” First-Generation Summit! This summit fulfills our long-standing goal of celebrating diversity and supporting our first-generation (first-gen) students. First-gen students face a unique challenge that students who have parents or guardians with a higher education background don’t have. First-gen students must navigate and find connections, insight, and resources independently.
The First-Generation Summit at Iowa aims to connect first-gen students to each other, provide a space to acknowledge each other's successes, and empower first-gen students, faculty, and staff. By providing this space, UISG and our campus partners aim to aid in retention and to support first-gen students’ academic, social and personal successes. Nearly 25% of the University of Iowa’s student body is first-gen, and 23% of the incoming freshman class of 2019 is first-gen. These statistics demonstrate the necessity of this space on our campus.
Elizabeth Folkers, a third-year UISG senator and first-gen student herself stated, “The First-Generation Summit wants to reach out and give first-gen students the necessary resources to help them stay in school, succeed, and accomplish things in their journey that they never thought possible previously.” The First-Generation Summit will achieve this goal by building a support system, making students aware of opportunities at Iowa, and by connecting students to their peers, faculty, staff, and allies.
UISG in collaboration with the First-Generation Task Force, UI Parent and Family Network, and the Vice President of Student Life’s office have been hard at work planning this summit, and excited to share this event with our campus community. We have planned a resource fair, speakers, networking opportunities, and of course, food for our attendees. We are pleased that we have the ability to present this summit for a third year, and we look forward to the years to come!