FIRST is a network of faculty and staff that aims to support the holistic well-being of first generation college students at Hampshire College by fostering a sense of belonging in community. The network provides access to information, guidance, mentorship, and academic, social, and career support. FIRST intends to promote awareness and support to first generation college students from the moment they choose Hampshire as their home institution to the moment they can call themselves Hampshire alumni. At its core, FIRST functions to identify barriers that first generation college students face and works to remove the challenges that prevent the students from maximizing their full potential.
The network hosts a number of events for first generation students throughout the academic year, including a welcome dinner, end of year brunch, film screenings, and workshops. FIRST also helps to coordinate student participation in local and regional first generation conferences.
The FIRST Network works closely with the FIRST on the Journey student group, which provides a closed safe space for students who identify as first generation college students. As a community, the group discusses issues surrounding topics such as language barriers, financial challenges, cultural shock, anxiety, adjustment, and much more. The student group sponsors special events that highlight the journeys of faculty, staff, and alumni who identify as first-generation and collaborates with first generation student groups throughout the Five College Consortium. Students are encouraged to connect with the student group via HampEngage, Facebook, and their Hampshire email listserv to learn more about upcoming events and resources.