The University of Georgia School of Law has received the largest outright donation in its history, all to benefit the education and advancement of first-generation students.
The monetary gift given by the Kathelen V. Amos and the Daniel P. Amos Family Foundation will start to aid first-generation students in fall 2019. Students will be given a scholarship that partially covers tuition as well as a stipend for professional development programs.
Students will have access to “financial planning, network development, acquisitions, business attire, bar prep classes — a lot of resources,” said Lona Panter, associate director of communications and public relations for the law school.
Aiding first-generation students is something the law school has emphasized in recent years, Panter said.
Being a first-generation student comes with its own hurdles and especially adds to the already challenging life of a law student. Current law students Tyler Mathis and Sharod McClendon have jointly decided to launch a new group, the First Generation Student Association, to help provide a community of resources.
“We’re both first-generation college students and law students and we felt a need to create a community where students can rely on peers for encouragement and provide each other with resources,” McClendon said. “First-generation students don’t always have connections like other students, so trying to find everything out on our own can be very difficult.”
Specifics about how the scholarship will be awarded will be discussed in the week’s following its announcement, but it’s certain that scholarships will start being awarded in fall 2019.
"First-generation college graduates represent an important cohort of the Law School community,” School of Law Dean Peter B. Rutledge said. “They represent the future lawyers and leaders in communities throughout the State and Nation.
The goal for the First-Generation Student Association is to create a community to allocate connections and resources to those who don’t already have it.
“We didn’t know the aptitude of the gift until the article was written, it was such a surprise to us, we were working so hard to develop this organization and were worried about resources,” McClendon said. “To see that there was an alumnus who was in support of us was a sigh of relief.”