In honor of First-Generation College Student Celebration Month, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is launching a campaign to celebrate first-generation students, employees, and alumni throughout November.
“Attending college for the first time is a big step for any student, especially first-generation students,” said Dr. Christina Drale, chancellor at UA Little Rock. “First-generation students are a vital part of our community, making up approximately half of the undergraduate student body. We actively support each student and are proud to celebrate this special month with our first-generation students.”
Throughout the month, UA Little Rock will be sharing the stories of first-generation Trojans, whether they are current students, faculty or staff members, or alumni. The community is encouraged to share stories of their first-generation UA Little Rock students by posting their story on social media with the hashtag #FirstGenTrojan and tagging the university’s official page. Students highlighted in the #FirstGenTrojan social media campaign will be automatically entered for a chance to win a free swag bag from the university.
One such student is Lakendra Mackrey. She said this of her experience as a first-generation student at UA Little Rock: “As a first-generation student, I have the insatiable need to achieve greatness. My professors encouraged me to keep up the good work and my peers cheered me on when I felt I was going down the wrong academic path. True grit allowed me to stay the course and make the Chancellor’s List Spring 2020.”
First-generation students make up 41% of the university’s total student population, and 48% of its undergraduate population. UA Little Rock is dedicated to helping each student succeed through financial aid and scholarships, engaged faculty and staff, excellent resources for student success, and through real-world learning experiences like internships, applied research, study abroad, and service learning projects.
For example, the university recently received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the university’s Student Support Services (SSS) program, which provides resources to undergraduate college students who are low-income, first-generation, and/or have a disability.