First-Generation Support Working Group (FIRST)

FIRST (First-Generation Support Working Group) is a student organization committed to facilitating community empowerment to promote belonging and success at the University of Virginia’s School of Education & Human Development among students who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Mission and Vision

  • To build community among first-generation students in the School of Education and Human Development
  • To create an atmosphere that acknowledges and values the diverse set of identities that first-generation students encompass, including additional marginalized intersecting sociocultural attributes such as race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status
  • To uncover and address the institutional norms and deficit perspectives within our school and the University that impede the success of first-generation students
  • To foster a campus climate and culture that empowers first-generation students, through a strengths-based approach, to recognize and utilize the cultural capital they already possess from community and life experiences for success in higher education

Upcoming Programs

FIRST Engagement

Looking to engage in work addressing structural inequalities and student empowerment to create an equitable environment for peers who identify as first-generation students, low-income students, and/or students from marginalized racial/ethnic backgrounds? New members are always welcome, and we would love to have you as a part of our team! For more information about joining our working group or participating in our other programs/events, complete this Participant Interest Form or contact us at

FIRST Advisors


Cody Lloyd

  • Teacher Education Support Specialist
  • Bavaro Hall
    PO Box 400267
    417 Emmet Street S
    Charlottesville, VA 22903