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Office of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Receives Grant to Celebrate, Empower and Connect First Generation Students

With the aid of a $5,000 grant, Olin College together with Babson and Wellesley Colleges will offer a series of collaborative projects focused on the experience of first generation college students.  

The projects called “Celebrating, Empowering and Connecting First Generation College Students” will include three on-campus events, one at each of the colleges and will culminate with participation in Class Action’s 6th Annual First Generation Summit at Mount Holyoke College in April, 2018.

“We are delighted that the Babson Olin Wellesley Presidential Grant Committee recognized the importance of reaching out to this important underrepresented student population,” said Rame Hanna, Olin’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator.  

Greater access to colleges and universities has led to a surge in the first generation student population. However research shows, and students often express, that this student community is often overlooked on campus.

“The goal of this programming is to start a conversation with a specific focus/lens around the unique identity, challenges, strengths, and opportunities for first generation college students; to build awareness of this community among students, staff, faculty, alumni and employers; and

enhance student skills, self-advocacy, and confidence through storytelling, conversations, networking, and skill development programs to promote success in college and beyond” said Hanna.

The year long series of events will culminate with students attending the First Generation Summit at Mount Holyoke College, which provides an opportunity for first generation students and their allies to identify problems, discuss and propose solutions based on what is currently working at their own college campuses as well as new ideas from the first generation lens.