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Connections at the First Gen Summit

January 20, 2017


Attending the First Generation Summit was a fresh new experience that gave me a positive outlook on just how vast the experiences of college can be. I personally have not had an opportunity similar to this one at Stockton University during the summer before my senior year of high school. The summit was an experience that was long overdue for me, as I was starting to feel that my college experience has been nothing but a bland one. It definitely provided me with such a diverse perspective on how college can be but also how the college experience actually is for the students that attended Williams College. But before getting into the students there, I need to point out that the campus at Williams College is without a doubt a beautiful one. The layout of the landscape to the architecture of every building, the campus was a sight to behold. Not to mention that the mountain peaks can be seen in the distance which made the campus feel like this tiny bit of civilization located in between a mountainous area. All the more reason it made me feel like I was isolated from society. However, the students there have gotten used to their lives at Williams College. They acknowledge that the campus is located in such a bizarre yet beautiful area but it still doesn’t stop them from experiencing their everyday college lives. My host in particular was the foundation of my wonderful experience. He made sure that I was comfortable at all times and wanted me to feel like this campus was my second home. We took a look around campus where he would give me a brief tour of what and where everything is, we settled down at the dorms, and just got to know each other. We connected with a student attending the summit that was from Colgate University who was also bunking with us. During the start of the summit, all the students were treated with a warm welcome at the Bronfman Auditorium where we kicked things off and got started. The first workshop was an endearing one, as few speakers talked about their own experiences and what it meant to be a Williams College alumni to them and also gave us a brief history of the first African American to have graduated from the college, Gaius C. Bolin, class of 1889. It was a workshop session that was held due to the partnership between the First Generation Summit and the Williams College Bolin Legacy Celebration. Not only during this event, but also during lunch, a speaker was also brought in to speak on behalf of the Bolin Legacy Celebration. One funny thing to note was a workshop that caught my eye way before the day of departure to the summit. A workshop called “Programming for First-Gen by First-Gen” made me think that it was a workshop that dealt with actual programming and coding, however I was sadly mistaken when I found out the truth. It was completely read out of context due to the fact that me being a computer science major, where in actuality it was about the fundamentals of coming up with different kinds of programs that will attract more first generation students to be involved. All in all, the connections and relationships that I’ve made during my attendance at the First Generation Summit will always be carved. It’s a beautiful thing to meet plenty of people in order to make these kinds of connections with people and so I’m thankful to TRiO and EOF for allowing us to experience such a wonderful opportunity.       



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