By Meredith Howard | Staff Writer
Baylor will participate in National First-Generation College Celebration Day by hosting a mixer for students, faculty and staff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Student Union Building Den. The first 100 guests will receive free lunch and giveaways, and resource tables and photo ops will be available to all attendees.
Dallas junior Batool Unar Syed is a second-time First in Line peer leader who mentors eight first-gen freshman students throughout their first year at Baylor.
“On Friday after my classes, I will be attending the celebration in the SUB to meet more first-generation students, see friends and mentees and enjoy the different activities that are planned for the celebration,” Unar Syed said.
First-generation students and their families will also be recognized at Friday’s Lady Bears basketball game against Grambling State at 6 p.m.
Andrea Pouso Morales, office manager of Student Success Initiatives, and Steven Fernandez, McNair Scholars Program director, are co-leading Baylor’s events in honor of first-generation college students.
“[There will be] two different sections reserved for the students and their families to sit together, and there will be an announcement to highlight our first-gen students and their families,” Pouso Morales said. “We’re also opening that invitation up to any other first-gen student that didn’t hear about it just yet and any other faculty and staff that wants to come hang out with us.”
Fernandez also said a well-known Baylor figure will be present at the celebration.
“We’re very excited that Dr. Linda Livingstone will be joining us and our first-generation students; and we’re really just taken back by all the amazing support from our faculty, staff and everyone here at Baylor for our first-generation students,” Fernandez said.
Unar Syed also said she appreciates Baylor’s recognition of first-generation college students.
“It is incredible that the faculty, staff and students here at Baylor have dedicated a day for recognition because to us first-generation students, this truly means a lot,” Unar Syed said. “I believe the student body impacts a school at large. So if students have more humility and a better understanding of shared or different backgrounds with peers who may be first-generation, I think even stronger relationships and an even stronger community could be developed.”
Other resources that Baylor offers for first-generation college students include the First in Line Success Academy, McNairs Scholars Program and first-generation student study abroad assistance.
More information about Baylor’s events for National First-Generation College Celebration Day can be found on the First in Line webpage.