First Generation Students Celebration


Joy Kaurin has been the TRIO advisor since 2018. Photo via LLC.

Darrius Frazier, Archivist

On Nov 9, the Student Activity Board (SAB) in collaboration with TRIO Student Support Services, hosted First Gen Student Celebration at Laker Point inside the Luther Student Center. This one-hour long event was to pay homage to first generation college students who are currently enrolled at Lake Land College (LLC). Each student who participated in the event received a T-shirt along with a donut from Revival City Donuts in Charleston. This is the first event LLC has held to honor first generation students.


Every year on November 8, the National First Generation College Celebration Day is held. This day is meant to celebrate students, faculty and staff who are the first in their family to pursue a four-year undergraduate degree. The date November 8 was chosen for the celebration to honor the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. 


The Higher Education Act (HEA) was intended to help Americans of color and low-income backgrounds receive an education. In addition to creating federal grants and loan programs to help students finance their education, the legislation made key investments in institutions of higher education. Additionally, HEA ushered in programs, particularly the Federal TRIO programs, necessary for postsecondary access, retention and completion for low-income, first-generation college graduates.


Joy Kaurin, the advisor for TRIO, stated that the reason for the event is that, “TRIO is designed to help first gen students navigate the college experience. There has been a celebration in the past but this is the first event ever honoring first gen students.”


A colorful spinning wheel was present at the event. The wheel contained several names such as Bill Clinton, Samuel Jackson, John Legend and many others. Kaurin stated that,“The purpose of the spinning wheel is to educate our students about Lake Land first gen graduates as well as other world’s first gen graduates so that they can see other first gen students who aspired to reach their goals.” 


In regards to the Revival City Donuts, she mentioned that, “The SAB was willing to donate some of their funds to purchase the donuts so that way it helped encourage students to attend because as wonderful and alluring TRIO is, donuts help people who want to attend the event.”


Kaurin concluded that, “Our hope is to encourage first gen students and remind them to always apply for the TRIO Student Support Services that we would like to walk alongside them across their college journey so they can find information about TRIO in their hub by swinging by our office. SAB always has fun events every Wednesday. We encourage our students to do so to connect with other students.”

Whether or not this event will become an annual occurrence is unknown. So, stay up to date with SAB’s plans by attending their events every Wednesday at 11 a.m. or visiting Student Activity Board Events – Lake Land College . To join TRIO, contact Joy Kaurin at [email protected].

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