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Representatives Mike Simpson and Gwen Moore and Senators Raphael Warnock and Roger Marshall M.D., Announce Nov. 8th as National First-Generation College Celebration Day

Representatives Mike Simpson and Gwen Moore and Senators Raphael Warnock and Roger Marshall M.D., Announce Nov. 8th as National First-Generation College Celebration Day

Today, Representative Mike Simpson, co-chair of the bipartisan TRIO Caucus, along with TRIO Caucus co-chair, Representative Gwen Moore, and Senators Raphael Warnock and Roger Marshall, M.D introduced a bipartisan, bicameral resolution to designate November 8th as “National First-Generation College Celebration Day.” Today is recognized as the anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was signed into law 56 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

“First generation college students demonstrate tremendous grit and dedication in pursuing their secondary education goals,” said Representative Simpson. “I’m pleased to join Representative Moore and Senators Warnock and Marshall in celebrating not only First-Generation College Celebration Day, but also the many Idahoans in my district who are the first in their families to earn a college degree.”

“I’m proud to introduce a resolution, along with my colleagues, recognizing November 8th as National First-Generation College Celebration Day. Access to quality and affordable education is a great equalizer in our country. I know this personally because it leveled the playing field for me. I entered Marquette University as a single, poor, teenage mother and because of the outreach of the TRIO programs at Marquette, I received a high-quality education and a degree that set me on a path toward success,” said Representative Moore.

She continued, “Today we celebrate the transformative powers of these programs and the students who work hard, break barriers, and overcome challenges to complete their education.” 

“As a first-generation college graduate, I know I would not have been able to open all the doors Morehouse College provided for me if it were not for the Higher Education Act of 1965,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “College education is a gateway to a brighter life, and I am proud to partner with Sen. Marshall, as well as Reps. Moore and Simpson, in spearheading this bipartisan effort to recognize National First-Generation College Celebration Day—and this is just the start. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make it easier for more students to achieve their higher education dreams.”

“As a first generation college kid myself, I understand the challenge of trying to balance the demands of academic life with working a full-time job,” said Senator Marshall. “Today’s students dealing with the same obstacles have a special place in my heart, and I’m honored to highlight their hard work and dedication on National First Generation College Celebration Day.”

“First-generation students often carry college full course loads while working too many hours to support themselves and help their families,” said Maureen Hoyler, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education. “These students are first in their families to meet these new challenges to break the cycle of poverty. They’re remarkable and deserve great recognition.

During a speech on the House floor, Representative Moore, a former recipient of TRIO, demonstrated the direct benefits the program has on low-income, first-generations students.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 focused on increasing postsecondary access and success for students particularly low-income and first-generation students. The act permitted the creation of the Federal TRIO Programs, implemented to award funds to provide opportunities for academic developments.

The Federal TRIO Programs (“TRIO”) are a set of educational opportunity programs that enable students from low- income backgrounds to become the first members of their families to earn college degrees. Currently serving more than 800,000 students from middle school through adult education, TRIO provides academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary to promote college access, retention, and graduation. Since its inception, TRIO has helped more than 5 million Americans earn college degrees.

The text of the House resolution is hereView all 58 bipartisan House cosponsors by state and district here.

View the Senate resolution text and 18 bipartisan cosponsors here