First Gen Mentoring Program

Mission:

To facilitate a relationship among former and current First-Gen college students in order to support the unique First-Gen experience.

Mentor/Mentee Program:

Unfortunately there is still is far too little awareness among colleges about First Gen college students. First Gens typically come from a less privileged background and are often not aware of the expectations that come with being a college student. First-Gens do not have resources that provide them with critical information such as networking, internships, office hours, etc. This mentorship will allow former First Gens to provide current students with their experiences and the information that they wish they had known when they were in college.

Both parties will set goals that they want to meet and have monthly check-ins. The mentor and mentee will provide the guidelines of their relationship outside of their monthly check-ins, in hope to give each student what they specifically need. If either party becomes unhappy with their mentor or mentee, then we will make fitful accommodations. We hope to make this transition to college a much better experience and provide students information that they otherwise would not have known or would have figured out too late. This is also great for mentors who want to help their fellow First Gens become successful successfully navigate the college landscape and beyond graduation.

Mentor Guidelines:

  1. Research the school that your mentor is attending. Find out what programs their school offers and key people they should meet.
  2. Reinforce the importance of networking and obtaining resources, and if they do not know what that is then teach them what it is and help them make those connections
  3. Share and reflect on your own experiences and what you struggled with, what you wish you had known at the time, and also what you did to become successful at school. Let them know what they should expect and reinforce the idea that they are an asset to the school and that “our” struggles are also strengths
  4. Set goals based on what the student wants to accomplish and also things that you both think are important to do while at school and follow up on those said goals.
  5. Be available outside of your set monthly check-ins. Give your mentee availability outside of your scheduled check-ins
  6. Be patient and encouraging and remember you were in their exact position once before
    If you are unhappy with the mentor relationship, please be honest and we will find fitful accommodations


Mentee Guidelines:

  1. Stay open minded and don’t be discouraged, remember you have accomplished so much already.
  2. Ask questions about things you are uncertain about.  Do not feel embarrassed, they were in your same position before.
  3. Set goals for things that you personally want to accomplish. Talk with your mentor about the goals you should set and what you want to accomplish every month.
  4. Become acquainted with your schools’ clubs and organizations. If they have a First Gen program then get involved.
  5. Challenge yourself. Don’t let your First Gen identity keep you from showcasing yourself to others.
  6. Talk to others about what you are feeling: professors, friends (those who are and aren’t First Gen), counselors, etc.
  7. Be honest. If you are unhappy with the mentor relationship, please be honest and we will find fitful accommodations.

If you are interested in the program then please take this questionnaire so that we can pair you accordingly. Once pairs are made you will receive information either about your mentor or mentee.