Purdue Northwest hosts First-Generation College Scholars Celebration events

October 25, 2023

Being the first in your family to attend college can prove a unique experience not only in the achievement of your lifelong dreams, but also in navigating new challenges while attending college.

Being first-generation often means finding an inner grit to Power Onward through uncharted territory in building relationships on campus, accessing resources and services, paying for college and more.

As a diverse, welcoming, inclusive metropolitan university, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is dedicated to supporting its first-generation students with a fulfilling student experience and preparation for the next steps in their careers. Over half of PNW’s undergraduate student population self-identifies as first-generation, defined as students who come from families where their parents or guardians did not complete a four-year college degree.

Join the PNW community from Nov. 6 through Nov. 14 as the university hosts its First-Generation College Scholars Celebration with a slate of campus programs recognizing and celebrating the first-generation student experience. The events are scheduled in tandem with National First-Generation College Celebration.

See all event information and updates

On Nov. 8 and 9, PNW’s office of Educational Opportunity Programs will host First-Gen College Student Celebrations in the spirit of National First-Gen College Celebration Day. Visit the Student Union and Library Building main concourse on Nov. 8 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. or the Library-Student-Faculty Building on Nov. 9 between noon and 2 p.m. for food, games and giveaways.

Nov. 8 historically marks the signing of the 1965 Higher Education Act. Among its provisions, the federal act instituted the original three federal TRIO programs — Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services — meant to promote postsecondary education access, retention and completion for first-generation students and students of limited means.

Within its array of Educational Opportunity Programs, PNW is home to:

  • Two Educational Talent Search programs for its Hammond and Westville campuses
  • Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science
  • Student Support Services
  • The Ronald McNair Achievement Program
  • The 21st Century Scholars Collegiate Support Program

PNW has the most TRIO resources among all higher education institutions in Indiana, dedicated to supporting students from middle school through post-baccalaureate programs.

See more TRIO Information

PNW is annually recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top performer among Midwest universities in social mobility, a category measuring how well a university graduates Pell Grant recipients.

On Nov. 14, PNW will host author Alejandra Campoverdi, writer of First Gen: A Memoir. Campoverdi received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and her master’s degree from Harvard University. She was a former White House aide to President Barack Obama and serves as a women’s health advocate. Campoverdi’s memoir retraces her trajectory as a Latina raised by a single mother in Los Angeles. Looking past the “tidy” bullet points of her resume, she sheds a light on the moments in between that delivers a testimony on opportunity and access in America.

Other programming will include student, faculty and staff first-generation spotlights, a First-Gen Pride Microgrants panel and an introductory callout meeting for the Tri-Alpha Honor Society, a first-generation student honor society.

See all event information and updates