On August 20th, 12 of our first C2C graduating class joined 25 upper-class peers as FGI Scholars. Our team opened the 2015 academic year with a two-day retreat at Camp Winnebago in Caledonia, MN. Built by parents who wanted their children with disabilities to experience camp life, the facilities and grounds provided an awesome environment in which to play, cook, make goals, and explore the surrounding woods.

 

A favorite game was “Birdie on the Perch,” which seemed like the Musical Chairs game of my youth. On the serious side, the Scholars wrote “Letters From Camp” to donors who have supported the First Generation Initiative in the past year. They also wrote new goals and listed regrets from the past. Later that night, they burned their regrets in the camp bonfire, followed by s’mores and songs. The retreat ended with a leadership activity that led to great discussions about leadership styles.

 

This photo is witness to the fact that our leadership team enjoyed the retreat as much as the students (although we may have been more tired at the end of two intense days). Jen Herdina (on the right) joins our team as the new FGI Scholars Literacy Specialist. This year we welcomed Denise Cichosz, whose primary job is coordinator of the graduate ESL program, as our part-time FGI Administrative Assistant. Not pictured is the fourth member of our FGI team, Edith Galvez, C2C coordinator and awesome photographer who took all of our retreat photos.

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