Were you the first in your family to go to university?
If so, Future Quest would like you to share your story as part of their #IAmFirstGen campaign.
What is #IAmFirstGen?
The #IAmFirstGen campaign aims to highlight that anyone can study at university, regardless of their background, and that there are lots of different journeys into higher education.
One barrier to young people attending university is often that they don’t see themselves as belonging at a university, as they think that there is nobody like them studying at degree level. The campaign plans to dispel this myth by showcasing different stories from graduates.
To do this, #IAmFirstGen will bring together companies, organisations, and individuals across the South West to form a community of students and graduates that are the first in their family to study at degree level. This pool of ‘first in family’ ambassadors will highlight the diversity of educational journeys and career pathways that people in various sectors have followed and support the progression of young people who possess skills and talent, but who do not have the networks or connections in their chosen sector.
By telling personal stories, the transformative power of higher education experiences can be shared with young people from first generation backgrounds to help build their expectations and create their own narrative for the future.
Who can take part?
There a few different ways to get involved, whether you are an individual, small social enterprise or large business.
Individuals: Become a First Gen Ambassador. Commit to sharing personal stories of your journey to and through higher education and onto your current employment, and support First Gen learners to build their own stories.
First Gen Employers: Commit to targeted outreach and graduate recruitment activities to further the opportunities for First Gen learners, with support from UWE Bristol and the Future Quest Outreach Hub.
What do you need to do?
First Gen Ambassadors: If you are a first generation graduate, share your experiences by writing a Letter To Previous Self. You can find downloadable guidance and examples of letters here.
First Gen Employers: Show your support by sharing news of the campaign with your colleagues and networks and help to reach people that may be able to contribute a letter.
We know that organisations are increasingly recognising the value of diversity and want to support the social mobility agenda. More than 500 organisations, including UWE Bristol, have signed the Social Mobility Pledge, committing to closing opportunity gaps and working together to address inequalities. Supporting #IAmFirstGen will enable your business to further social mobility and celebrate first generation graduate colleagues.
Future Quest is a collaborative outreach project based at UWE Bristol, providing targeted outreach in areas where progression into higher education is lower than might be predicted from GCSE results. For more information about Future Quest or the #IAmFirstGen campaign please contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org