Some students at Ferris are the first in their families to attend a four-year university, and some have formed a registered student organization (RSO) to support each other.
First Generation (or First Gen for short) is an RSO that helps first generation college students connect with fellow first generation college students. The RSO helps answer questions and concerns that first generation students may have.
First Gen can provide a support system for students by connecting them to students, staff and faculty, as well as help students acclimate and understand college as much as possible.
Ferris human resource management junior Alecia Dillard is a member of First Generation. Hailing from Detroit, Dillard chose Ferris because it is an opportunity school. Getting connected within the Ferris community and scholarships gave her enough of a reason to leave home and make Ferris her new one.
“It was a relief for me to get away from my hometown and come to a completely different environment,” Dillard said. “The students and staff here are so kind, caring and willing to help me succeed in every way possible.”
Getting involved in a professional fraternity and different RSOs has helped Dillard receive support, reach out and ask different questions. Dillard said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the support and love from her friends, family and the people she’s met at Ferris.
Ferris psychology junior Kennedy Schafer is a member of First Gen and loves it. Schafer grew up in a small town close to Traverse City and chose Ferris because her first major was pre-pharmacy.
“When I first came to college, I’m sure I was nervous because I’d always lived in small towns growing up so I didn’t know what to expect when entering a larger community,” Schafer said.
First Gen has helped Schafer make more connections with other students and staff. Schafer loves the support that the faculty offers students, and it would have made school more difficult if RSOs, students and faculty weren’t as connected.
Although the group is focused on first generation students, any student is welcome as it’s not just first generation students that have questions about different aspects of Ferris life.
First Gen meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 11 a.m. and the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m.