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Take Flight Welcomes First-Gen Students at Orientation

Guest blog by Nicole Germain with partner Catholic University's Take Flight program By Nicole Germain

Students who are the first in their families to attend college were greeted with open arms, smiles, and support from the Center for Cultural Engagement (CCE) during a welcome lunch held at Heritage Hall.

As part of the Take Flight program, the CCE treated these new students and their families to a luncheon program that kick-started Orientation Week. The informal setting allowed attendees to have conversations with the new students seeking advice, sharing their aspirations, and finding commonality in laughter and stories.

“Today’s lunch showcased the true essence of Take Flight,” said Javier Bustamente, Director of the Center for Cultural Engagement. “We witnessed students stepping out of their comfort zones, mentors sharing their wisdom, and a genuine sense of community.”

The event underscored the valuable role that first-generation students play in shaping the University community. The incoming class features 200 first-generation students. These students also benefit from the services offered by CCE and the Center for Academic and Career Success in helping them be successful in their college careers.

“As a first-generation student, Take Flight has been a guiding light,” said Xochitl Luis Aguilar, a psychology major. “The connections I’ve made and the support I’ve received so far have helped me to navigate the college world with newfound confidence. I’m not alone; I’m part of a family that believes in my potential.”

Catholic University's Take Flight is a partner of the Crimsonbridge Foundation College Success program, investing in innovative programs, practices, and research to increase degrees for first-generation college students across the country.


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