Buttons help create community of first-generation students on campus

Stacy Carosa, coordinator, Office of Student Retention and First Year Experience.
Stacy Carosa, coordinator, Office of Student Retention and First Year Experience.

Were you “First2Go?”

If so, Stacy Carosa has a button for you to wear, and a message she hopes you’ll carry to help first-generation students succeed at UCCS: “They are not in this journey alone, and that they do belong here.”

Carosa, coordinator, Office of First Year Experience and Transfer Student Connections, recently launched a new program and retention initiative called First2Go for incoming first-generation students (those who are first in their families to attend a four-year university).

The idea, she said, is to build a community of support for these students. The buttons, to be worn by faculty, staff and other students, or displayed on a backpack or office, offer a quick way for students to identify who on campus was, like them, a first-generation student.

Kelli Klebe, associate vice chancellor, Research and Faculty Development, is wearing a First2Go button. (She is not, as a few have joked, leaving the university).

She was the first in her family to attend college, and among only a handful in her large extended family to earn a degree. She said she hopes more faculty and staff will back the program, too, and that students will talk with faculty and staff members they see with a button.

“I support it because I think all students need support, but first-generation students may not have that at home,” Klebe said.

First2Go buttons
First2Go buttons

The First2Go program will host an Aug. 23 meet-up to connect first-generation students, staff and faculty. The event will be 4-6 p.m. at University Center room 303. Learn more and RSVP here.

Email Carosa to get a button – or look for her passing them out at campus events.

For information on the program, click here.


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