CLC welcomes first-generation students

Emily Bubel


Photo via First Generation Club

Photo via First Generation Club

The College of Lake County’s wide range of clubs and organizations allows students to make friends and be a part of their community.

This semester at CLC, a new club is about to take off: the First Generation Club.

The club is for first-generation students– those who are the first in their families to go to college– and is designed to help them feel more comfortable and inspired in this new environment.

The First Generation board makes sure to provide workshops and other events to help others feel welcomed.

The three board members in charge include CLC students Cassidy Briggs, Patrick Smith, Mandie Arevalo, the public relations manager, secretary, and president.

“We want first-generation students to have a place where they can meet other students who may be going through the same hardships,” Briggs said. “We want [them] to know that they are not alone and that there are several students who may be experiencing the same things that they are.”

Briggs also mentioned how they are trying to work on their social media presence and try to reach as many people as possible.


Pictured left to right: Patrick Smith, Mandie Arevalo, Cassidy Briggs

Pictured left to right: Patrick Smith, Mandie Arevalo, Cassidy Briggs

The board members agreed that they are struggling to get new members due to the pandemic and not meeting on campus.

However, they are still going strong, unwilling to let this set them back.

Patrick Smith also commented on the club’s start.

“The club is going well. [We] are attempting to recruit new people to help them out, but we are hopeful that more people will join,” Smith said. “We are planning ahead with events and ideas.”

Some of these planned events, listed on the club’s Instagram, include workshops involving financial aid and transfer information and fun activities like movie days.

The club shows its dedication to help students out and gives them all the crucial information through all of these events.

“We’ve established plans and meetings with several fundraisers and volunteering opportunities. Once we got into the swing of things, the club became much more sturdy,” Smith said.

While all three board members agreed that the club would help with welcoming first-generation students and making them feel comfortable, Mandie Arevalo mentions another reason and motivator in starting the club and its importance.


Mandie Arevalo

Mandie Arevalo

Arevalo hopes that members “feel comfortable to share horror stories of what it’s like to be a first-generation college student, and ask questions that others around them don’t know.”

She understands that being a college student is rough, especially for first-generation students. However, if a student were to join a club filled with other first-generation students, then college possibly wouldn’t be quite as difficult or challenging.

CLC holds many clubs that help students create memories and feel welcomed to the school, and the First Generation club is no exception. First-generation students now can relate to one another, be supported by those in the same situation, and share and live through similar experiences together.