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First Generation allows students college insight

Gwendolyn Williams and Sheila Wakeley, staff counselors of the VSU counseling center, are giving first generation students at VSU an opportunity to have a First Generation Group at VSU.

The term first generation student refers to an individual who is the first in their family to pursue a college education.

These students often face distinctive academic and social challenges that set them apart from their counterparts.

Corey Dudley, sophomore psychology major is a first generation student who is interested in being a part of the First Generation Group.

“A group like this would provide as a basis for somebody like me to see what other students like me go through as first generation students,” Dudley said.

Brittany Briscoe, senior Mass Media Major and another first generation student said she wishes there would have been an opportunity to join a First Generation Group when she was an incoming freshman at VSU.

“Since I was the first to attend to college in my family, I had to depend solely on myself to figure things out,” Briscoe said. “I didn’t have any other references.”

Wakeley and Williams hope to address these challenges through a support group in which students will be given the opportunity to meet other students like them, discuss their particular issues, and help one another through their journey of bringing home their family’s first college diploma.

According to Wakeley, the group will also encourage first generation students to excel academically by addressing time management skills, goal setting, and good study habits.

“The group will be a marriage between a support group and a psycho education group because we will be providing information and advice as well as support for these students,” said Wakeley.

Williams and Wakeley, who plan to co-facilitate VSU’s First Generation Group, were hoping to launch the meetings Sept. 28. However, due to a lack of members, the group is holding out to begin next semester.

“We really encourage first generation students to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Williams.

Once enough people have signed up, the support group can begin holding meetings.

To sign up for this group, visit to the counseling center, located on the second floor of Powell Hall, or call the counseling center at (229)333-5940 to set up a screening appointment to speak with one of the group co-facilitators, Gwendolyn Williams or Sheila Wakeley.

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