PCOM Hosts First-Generation Student Celebration at its Three Campuses
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PCOM Hosts First-Generation Student Celebration


November 11, 2022

PCOM's first-gen students smile and mingle in a classroom on the Philadelphia campusOn Tuesday, November 8, PCOM's Office of Diversity and Community Relations hosted its “First Generation Celebration” for students, faculty and staff from across the College's three campuses. In partnership with the Student Government Association's First Generation Student Committee, the event highlighted the important contributions of first-generation PCOM community members.

“First-generation students face a number of barriers in college and, unlike their legacy peers, may not have access to a support system to guide them through the process. Those barriers are magnified once first-generation students attend graduate and medical school. With first-generation students having a 92 percent higher dropout rate than their legacy peers on a national level, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate our first-generation students who survive and thrive at PCOM,” shared Christy Y. Finley, EdD, program coordinator, diversity and inclusion, who was the primary organizer of the event.

“I wanted the first-generation community at PCOM to know who's doing the first-gen work on their respective campuses, as well as create an end-of-term opportunity for students, faculty and staff to take a break and celebrate their accomplishments,” continued Dr. Finley.

The event kicked off with student leaders from each campus sharing the history of the annual National First-Generation College Celebration. The event, held nationally on November 8, was created in 2017 to honor the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. The act was intended to make higher education more accessible to Americans from minority and low-income backgrounds.

The student representatives from the Student Government Association's First Generation Student Committee included PCOM's Alexis Verwoert (PCOM DO '25), PCOM Georgia's Emily Graves (MS/Biomed '23) and Bebe Eke (DO '25) and PCOM South Georgia's Georgina Boateng (DO '25). The goal of PCOM's First Generation Student Initiative is to act as a support system and advocate for the educational equity of first-generation students through mentorship, community outreach, education and advocacy.

The event also included an opportunity for students on each campus to network and enjoy refreshments provided by the Office of Diversity and Community Relations.

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

    For more information, contact:
    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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