Developing post-secondary dynasties one first-generation student at a time.
First-Gen Equity within the Division of Diversity of Community Engagement (DDCE) is a continuation and expansion of the DDCE First-Generation Initiative, which was envisioned by a handful of first-generation students in 2017, Alejandrina Guzman and Matt Thibault. Fueled by a desire to have their own first-generation community on campus, these passionate students joined forces with a committee of dedicated staff members to develop an outline for a student-run organization that they would be proud to call their own.
In its infancy, the DDCE First-Generation Initiative welcomed students to campus with the inaugural First-Gen Kickoff and highlighted student accomplishments at the First-Gen Symposium. Over the next several years, under the guidance of Helen Wormington and Dr. Aileen Bumphus—and with support from several dedicated students, staff members, university offices, and institutional committees—the DDCE First-Generation Initiative grew to include monthly student programming/events, mentoring opportunities, and a team of paid first-generation student ambassadors.
To support its continued growth, in the spring of 2021 the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement made the decision to move its First-Generation Initiative into the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity (LCAE)—a learning community with a reputation for supporting the first-gen community and for empowering students personally, academically, and professionally to become innovative, productive and engaged global citizens who are committed to social responsibility and promoting a diverse community of people, ideas and perspectives.
The LCAE team is excited to embrace and provide a physical home for first-generation students on the third floor of the Student Services Building (SSB 3.200) this fall, and it aims to continue the traditions and support that first-generation students have come to expect from DDCE’s First-Generation Initiative.