Since 2017, institutions, corporations, non-profits, and K-12 schools from across the nation have celebrated first-generation students, faculty, staff, and alumni on November 8th, however we know many personal and professional celebrations have occurred throughout the years as first-generation college students have not only graduated, but also gone on to become Firsts in many other roles.
While there may be some truth to the narratives around our struggles, let us not forget that is not the whole story. In the words of Donald O. Clifton, what would happen if we studied what is right with people versus what is wrong with them? In my own experience, I can confirm the tenacity, agility, and commitment to excellence have not faded over the years, they’ve only sharpened.
On this day that not only honors the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by Texas State University’s Distinguished Alumnus President Lyndon B. Johnson, let us also celebrate our continued successes and amplify the many reasons first-generation college students can thrive and achieve success.