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Faculty/Staff Mentorship Program for Sophomore First-Generation College Students

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College is about courses and books and exams, sure, but above all, it’s about building relationships with people who care about your success. If you’re a rising sophomore, first-gen student at UW who wants to jump-start such a relationship, apply to our Faculty/Staff Mentorship Program!  



Your mentor is someone who will have your back throughout your second year at UW and maybe even beyond. You’ll talk one-on-one about success at college and in your career. And if that wasn't’t enough, students receive scholarships to the UW bookstore based on how much they participate in the program. That’s cash for books, tech, and UW gear!  


About Our Mentors 

Our mentors are faculty and staff from departments and advising units all across the University, and they are passionate about first-gen success. If, however, you already have a mentor in mind that you’d like to work with, we’ve got you covered! Just let us know, and we’ll reach out to that mentor to see if they can work with you. 



Any rising sophomore student who is a first-generation college student (someone whose parents or guardians did not get a four-year degree or did not get a four-year degree in the United States) is eligible to apply. 


How to Sign Up 

Applications open in early August, and the link is posted in the "Apply Now" section, below. There’s also a good chance that the program administrators will send you an email invitation to apply. However, because spots fill up fast, act quickly! 


More Information 

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions below or email Seth Swanner ( He’s the program administrator (and a first-gen college graduate himself), and he’d love to hear from you!  

Apply Now!

We are now accepting applications! Applying is quick and easy, but act soon! Space is limited, and the deadline to apply is August 22nd.

click here to apply

Frequently Asked Questions

We use America Mentors, a cool program that matches students with our mentors across a number of criteria, including academic discipline, mentoring needs, non-academic interests, and even personality! 
Students’ second year is often when a lot of important decisions get made. Maybe it’s the declaration of a major, maybe it’s the choice of a future career, maybe it’s just a decision about who a student wants to be. A mentor can be crucial in helping students navigate those decisions. If you’re ineligible for this program because you’re a first-year student, we’ve got opportunities for you there, too! Check out our main First Gen Scholars page, and see “First-Year Support Opportunities.” 
You’ll first attend an orientation where you’ll learn about the program and meet your mentor. After that, every two weeks throughout both semesters of the academic year, you’ll sit down for one-on-one meetings with your mentor.
Typically, mentoring meetings last between thirty minutes to an hour, so you’ll probably find yourself spending a couple of hours per month with your mentor. Like many things about this program, however, the time commitment is customizable to your needs, your goals, and your mentor’s availability! Need to have a shorter mentoring meeting because of a scary midterm coming up? No problem! Need to sit down with your mentor and hash out your career aspirations in a longer meeting? Can do! 
No worries! Before each of your mentorship meetings, we send out Conversation Starters, which are designed to help guide your meetings through topics that are important for first-gen success. You’re free to use those Conversation Starters for the whole year, or if you’d rather have a more organic discussion, you can ignore them entirely!  

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