First Generation Conference

UVU hosts the second annual First-Generation Conference, offering perspective high school seniors information on the transition to higher education. 

The conference was held by UVU’s Prospective Student Services on Oct. 10, with over 300 first-generation seniors attending from around the state. Students in attendance heard from keynote speakers, student panels and also participated in workshop sessions. 

“The main purpose of the event was to give high school students that may not see college as part of their future an opportunity to come and learn more,” said David Warr, a biology major and ambassador of Prospective Student Services. “We want them to know more about the campus, scholarships and different programs that we have available. I think it’s an amazing resource for first-generation students.” 

At UVU, a student is a first-generation student if neither parent or guardian has completed a bachelor’s degree. These students are still considered first-generation even if a sibling or other family member has already completed a four-year college degree.

According to the American Council On Education (ACE), 33 percent of first-generation students dropout of school within three years, much greater than the percentage of students whose parents have a college education. 

38 percent of UVU students are first generation and the number is increasing each year. 

“I wish I had more opportunities like this when I was a senior in high school,” said Carla Giannoni, a communications major. “I want to connect with other first-generation students on a personal level and encourage them to keep going.”

I Am First is a program offered at UVU designed to connect first-generation students with a community of like-minded friends, mentors and crucial campus resources to help students graduate. 

“First-generation students are pioneers in their families, often deciding to go to college at a great personal and familial sacrifice. [First-generation students] come from every ethnic, racial, and religious background, and contribute to an increasingly diverse and inclusive UVU campus,” as stated on I Am First’s website. “UVU is proud to welcome these students who wish to follow their dreams and receive a quality university education.”

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