News

Holy Cross Celebrates First Generation Celebration Week

Brendan Bonner ’23

News Editor

The exhilaration on The Hill has been tangible after an incredible football win this past weekend. Yet, aside from being crowned four time champions of the Patriot League, there are plenty of events to be excited about as November progresses. One of these is First Generation Celebration Week, a four day event beginning Nov. 7 and ending Nov. 11. 

First generation students are those whose parents did not graduate from a four year college or institution. Students who have siblings that have completed schooling at a four year college/institution are still considered first generation, as long as neither parent has done the same. 

This week hopes to celebrate “the identity of being a first generation college student” says Zae Valera, Assistant Director of Student Inclusion and Belonging, in a recent email about the event. Valera explains that the events aspire to “highlight the nuances behind all of what being first-generation entails.” 

There are plenty of events and activities being held throughout the week, starting on Nov. 7. This event is titled the “I Am the F1rst Campaign,” starting on Monday, and concluding on Nov. 11. The campaign spans over two mediums: the first floor of Hogan and on social media. Students can directly message the Instagram account “hcf1rst” with a picture and small description of themselves that includes what makes them “first gen” to be posted (if the student wants)! 

“Off The Clock: HCF1rst Mentor Dinner ” is the second event, hosted by HCF1rst, an organization on campus that serves as a resource for first generation and low-income students. The event is being hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (ODEI) on the 8th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in Hogan 401. The event will provide students with a valuable networking opportunity with other first generation students and faculty, along with a nice meal. Students can register for the event here: https://myhc.holycross.edu/ODEI/rsvp_boot?id=1872307

The third event will take place on Wednesday via Zoom and is titled “The First Among Us.” This event will be a virtual panel discussion that highlights the experiences of several first generation alumni. These alumni include Mark Estrada, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Berkshire Bank, Efrain Lozano, Post Supervisor of Original Content at NFL Media, and David Rodriguez, Alumni Engagement Coordinator at St. John’s Prep. Students can submit questions via the HCF1rst instagram account to be answered over the duration of the virtual panel. 

Thursday brings us the fourth event of the week, called “No One Told Me!” held in The Hub between 6:00-7:00 p.m. by HCF1rst and the ODEI. First generation students will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences as first generation students at Holy Cross with their fellow first generation peers. The event will also include hot chocolate and Insomnia Cookies. Students can also register for this event on MyHC. 

The last event of the week is “Thoughts On The Hill: Letters Home.” First generation students will have the opportunity to write either a letter home or to their future selves about their experiences as a first generation student. Held in The Hub from 12:00-1:00 p.m., students can enjoy lunch while ending the week in a wholesome moment of reflection about their experiences on the Hill and beyond.

First Generation Celebration Week promises an exciting and fulfilling time for first generation students at Holy Cross. Students should be sure to check out the many events being held throughout the week.

Photo by College of the Holy Cross

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