November 6, 2019

Kish celebrates first generation students on November 14

Kishwaukee College’s TRIO Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) and TRIO Upward Bound (TRIO UB) programs will host a First Generation Student Celebration on November 14 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm in the Student Lounge C1130 on campus. The event is part of a nationwide campaign to celebrate the success of first generation students and increase awareness about the services and resources available to them. A student panel and guest speaker Rapheal Mathis are part of the planned activities for November 14. The event is free and open to the public.

First generation refers to students whose parents did not earn a bachelor’s degree. Both programs help first generation students, low-income students, and/or students with disabilities reach academic and college success. TRIO UB works with eligible DeKalb High School students in their preparation for college entrance and completion. TRIO SSS offers a variety of resources and services to help eligible Kish students overcome barriers and ensure a successful college experience.

The first two hours of the First Generation Student Celebration are networking and photo opportunities for TRIO students. At noon, TRIO SSS participants will be on a student panel where guests can learn more about the unique challenges and experiences of first generation students.

Spoken word artist and motivational speaker Rapheal Mathis will present at 12:30 pm. Mathis has been a spoken word artist for 10 years. He won first-in-state at Poetry Out Loud and placed ninth in the country while in high school. During his time at Lake Forest College, he founded Poets Igniting Change. Mathis is on a personal mission to help others discover their passions and realize their potential through spoken word.

“Being the first in your family to attend college can make a student feel out of place. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or struggle to fit in,” said Tashena Briggs, director of TRIO UB. “We want students to know they are not alone. There are resources available and people all around Kish campus who are rooting for them.”

Nearly sixty percent of Kish’s current student body is first generation. In the 2018-2019 academic year, TRIO UB and TRIO SSS supported 213 students.

For more information about the First Generation Student Celebration, contact director of TRIO SSS Keith Wise at