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First-generation student to deliver commencement address

Dec. 9, 2022

Five females pose for a photo around a firepit
Delaney Sisk and her sisters

Delaney Sisk came to Mizzou as a freshman from Odessa, Missouri, and she will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in social work Dec. 17. When she walks across the Jesse Auditorium stage, she will be the first in her family to complete a college degree.

More than one in three students graduating from the School of Health Professions this December are first-generation college students. “We paved our own path to get to this ceremony,” Sisk said. “I am an example of what happens when you put yourself out there, self-advocate, take risks, and take steps to recognize your potential.”

Sisk is vice president of Phi Alpha national social work honor society and volunteers at the Truman VA. She recently completed her social work practicum working with the treatment court administrator for Missouri’s 19th Judicial Circuit, based in Jefferson City, and plans to move to Hawaii after graduation.

“Being a first-gen student means we set a higher standard for our family,” she continued. “For me, it was proving to my four little sisters that they can do anything they set their mind to and be whoever they want to be.”