For first-generation students, college life might resemble feeling your way through the dark sometimes. That’s why the Buckeye First student organization was created in 2019, to help those students find support throughout the Ohio State experience.
It hasn’t taken long for Buckeye First to make a big impact. As the first active student organization for first-gen students, it immediately attracted 80 members and received the Office of Student Life’s New Outstanding Student Organization award.
“Our members love the community and space that our organization provides,” said Sly Worthy, president and founder of Buckeye First and a social work and African American and African studies double-major. “We pride ourselves on being a family and supporting each other.”
According to Worthy, Buckeye First hosts three types of general body meetings: discussions around the first-gen identity, workshops and socials.
Their cornerstone event is the National First Gen Celebration on Nov. 8. That event is still in the planning stages as Buckeye First, and all student organizations adapt to Ohio State’s safe and healthy protocols. All of Buckeye First’s meetings and events have gone virtual, allowing members to participate in weekly Zoom drop-ins in the “First Gen Den.”
The group also has used its social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram to engage and highlight members through posts and videos. Buckeye First also is working to find ways for its members to network with other organizations and people who are combatting education inequality.
Another important goal of the group is to help members develop leadership skills, according to Worthy, which is why Buckeye First has 12 leadership positions to help members gain those types of experiences.
Overall, Worthy said first-gen students “should consider joining this group because they will be surrounded by others that are in similar, not the same, situations and they get to navigate that space and the complexities of being first-gen with other students.”