2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Maricopa Community Colleges – Estrella Mountain Community College

First Generation of Many Student Conference: Celebrating and Building Community

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) serves approximately 67 percent of students who identify as first-generation (FG) college students. To further EMCC’s mission that learning happens anytime, anyway, any place, the First Generation of Many Student Conference (FGM) supports student development. It allows EMCC students to learn new skills that will help them succeed while enrolled at EMCC and provide them the social capital to be successful beyond our campus. FGM took place virtually on November 13, 2020, and offered participants the chance to hear from a keynote speaker and attend breakout sessions. Based on theory and research, breakout session topics were carefully selected to build community and garner success: imposter syndrome, financial literacy, wellness, writing, family support, and more. By hosting FGM virtually, it has allowed the planning committee to create a program that can be accessed at any time, to even more students, and be replicated for future semesters.


  • Jennifer Armour, Student Services Analyst, EMCC
  • Elizabeth Cantú, Faculty, Communication, EMCC
  • Sandra Chavez, Administrative Specialist Senior, EMCC
  • Regina Hernandez-Garcia, Student Services Analyst, EMCC
  • Adriana Minjares, Student Services Analyst, EMCC
  • Nuria Sanchez, Supervisor, Instructional Services, Rio Salado College
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