As a part of its First-generation College Celebration on Nov. 8, the national organization Center for First-generation Student Success encourages colleges, universities, corporations, nonprofits and K-12 schools to celebrate the success of first generation college students, faculty, staff and alumni in any and every way possible. Learn more about how Case Western Reserve University supports first-generation college students through First CWRU.
Beginning college can be a stressful time for any student, but for those who are the first in their families to take that step, the uncertainty can be even more pronounced.
In 2018, First CWRU was formed to help alleviate some of the difficulties first-generation college students at the university face. The group, which has about 15 regularly involved students in its membership, seeks to build community, cultivate student advocacy and share resources with students.
“The transition to college is often difficult, and it helps to have a community that you can turn to for support, especially a community who has experienced many of the same struggles before,” said Abby Omlor, the organization’s public relations officer. “This support also helps student retention at CWRU, and enables students to be successful.”
The organization’s members schedule events to help build community and offer guidance in navigating the college experience and beyond in the form of social events, resume workshops, movie nights and more. The organization also has a scholarship program. To keep up with future First CWRU events, check out the organization’s CampusGroups page.
All events uphold the organization’s goal of making sure first-generation students know they are not alone in their experiences and there are others willing to help.
When Omlor first started at CWRU in fall 2020, she felt like her peers whose family members had attended college already had a leg up in understanding what they were doing. Getting involved in First CWRU made a difference.
“It was such a welcoming and positive experience, and finding and building this community with people who understood what I was going through made my transition into college a lot easier and more enjoyable,” she said.